Barb Jungr - Love Me Tender - Whitstable Times

Elvis fans were treated to a different kind of tribute to the King by Barb Jungr at Canterbury's Gulbenkian Theatre on Friday night. It wasn't an impersonation or a discussion about Presley and his tragic short life. Instead - and this may have been painful for the die-hard Elvis fans - Bar took 13 of his songs and tweaked them into a different format. For some, like Kentucky Rain, the change wasn't obvious but her version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" turned it from puppy-love blues into full-on melancholic heartbreak. In between each of these songs, Barb, who is originally from Stockport, told witty anecdotes about her travels around the USA while researching Presley's musical roots. Although she didn't give specific examples of his inspirations, she did talk about the Deep South a lot and how her experiences of it affected her interpretation of the songs. Her articulate descriptions made it easy to understand her viewpoint, even though there were times when her metaphors were a touch esoteric. But her down-to-earth humour provided light relief to those deep moments and it is easy to see why she is the winner of a Perrier Award.She also features in the Telegraph, Sunday Times and the Washington City Newspaper's top 10 jazz CDs of 2002 for her last album, "Every Grain of Sand". And it seems the new album that features her reworkings, "Love Me Tender", is heading the same way because there was a long queue of won-over Elvis fans eager to get their hands on a copy after the show.

Whitstable Times
01 April 2005