Barb Jungr - Man in the Long Black Coat - Girl Singers

This is Barb Jungr's second compilation of music and lyrics from Bob Dylan, although Mr. Dylan's work peppers pretty much all of her back catalog of albums.  In the liner notes, she writes about that first collection ("Every Grain Of Sand") in 2002 - "...it was the beginning of a love affair. Once I had started singing Dylan's songs I couldn't stop, and recorded more over the last six years on various collections."

Nine of these then, are from previous releases.  Four tracks - "Sara," and "Man In The Long Black Coat," along with "It Ain't Me Babe" and "With God On Our Side," are new recordings.

I'm laughing as I write this, listening to her take on Dylan's mournful "Just Like A Woman" in a sassy uptempo, with the hook reminiscent of sixties girl-group kitsch.  And some of the appeal is just this - in hearing Mr. Dylan's laments reinterpreted through a new lens.

Ms. Jungr performs with a level of emotional intensity, even through some of the lighter fare - somewhere between simplicity and performance art - that I found uncomfortable at first.  But that was years ago.  I began dropping her tracks into other mixes - and just as my Martini cocktails kept getting a little drier - I eventually acquired the taste.  It wasn't hard work, and I've been enjoying Ms. Jungr's work straight up ever since.

My favorites on this disc include two of the new tracks - "Sara," and "It Ain't Me, Babe," along with "Like A Rolling Stone," which came from 2003′s "Waterloo Sunset."

Ms. Jungr's work started getting recognition in the US - she's been performing regularly (and winning cabaret awards) in New York since 2005, and the release of this disc couples with a UK tour through the summer.

Powerful, familiar, surprising, and even amusing in spots, this recording takes Dylan's work to some surprising new places, and is very highly recommended.

 

Girl Singers
16 May 2011