Barb Jungr - Love Me Tender - Audiophile Audition

If you hate it when you go to a concert and all your favorite band plays is cover songs, then don't go see Barb Jungr's fall tour. She is tearing up Europe following the recent release of Love Me Tender; which includes 11 songs performed by Elvis and two by Bob Dylan. Her exotic voice drives me to fantasize about her sitting atop a piano in a smoky pub, holding a cigarello in one hand and a tall glass of Boddingtons in the other. Heartbreak Hotel blows me away every time I listen to it. The fresh rendition with Barb‘s signature jazzy overtone touch is so breath-taking, you really can't believe the rock roots behind it. To compare Barb with other singers wouldn't do her talents justice, but if I had to, I would say the closest audible comparison would be Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde. I have never been a fan of Elvis' music, but get me to Graceland baby, I have been reborn!!!!

Barb, a cabaret singer by trade, has herein followed up her 2002 release, Every Grain of Sand, a superb album chock full of Bob Dylan's songs. Her raspy, Marlboro-perfected voice out performs any impersonator I have ever heard. Barb's soulful voice does wonders for all 13 tracks on the album. In the Ghetto is perfectly crooned. I can only imagine how lucky the band members felt at the end of that session. One of my favorites, Are You Lonely Tonight, is done with such raw emotion, that I can't visualize it being sung by Elvis.

Barb's classical rendition of the rebellious song I Shall Be Released (one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs snuck into this album) could start riots in the prisons with her, "Come on boys follow me!" attitude. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the album. I have never been a fan of Elvis' music when performed by him, but these covers are amazing. I just wish Barb was gigging over here, maybe at the Green Mill in Chicago... I dream big!
Tracks include: Love Letters; Heartbreak Hotel; Long Black Limousine; Wooden Heart; Are You Lonesome Tonight?; Kentucky Rain; In the Ghetto; Love Me Tender; Always On My Mind; I Shall Be Released; Tomorrow is a Long Time; Looking for Elvis; and Peace in the Valley. ****1/2

Audiophile Audition
01 September 2005