BARB Jungr’s previous album credits include the intriguingly titled ‘Stockport to Memphis’ chronicalling a musical journey from her adopted home town to the source of her early musical influences, writes Trevor Baxter.
But when Rochdale born Barb, who is the daughter of a Czech father and German mother, arrives in Saddleworth this month to promote her current project, it might easily be subtitled from New York to Delph.
Described by one critic as ‘the thinking person’s cabaret singer’ Barb and American Grammy award winning musical director and arranger, John McDaniel, are re-working and re-configuring the works of Sting and the Police.
So far only American audiences have heard the results of a near year-long project by a woman who has given songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and the Beatles similar treatment.
And the duo’s ‘Float Like a Butterfly’ performance will be only the third in the UK by the time their mini tour reaches the Millgate Arts Centre in Delph on Saturday, February 24.
Not that Barb is any stranger to the villages. She has twice appeared at the Swan, Dobcross; once with McDaniel and also with American jazz pianist, Laurence Hopgood.
“People are loving it, we are loving it, every single song is golden and my heart lifts because I want to sing them,” she told the Independent prior to a show in Austin, Texas.
“We know Sting is a massive pop star and has sold millions of records.
“You know all the songs but what you don’t know, until you start to look at songs in details, is how amazing they are.
“When we listened to Sting we realised, melodically, he was playing a different ball game.
“That’s fabulous for us because it gives us a new way in.
“Also, because he was an English teacher, he comes from this place of words being really special.
“He will write a lyric but very few words change each verse.
“Simply by changing those few words though changes the whole story.
“If you listen to it as a pop song, you don’t hear that but when you unravel the songs you find that.”
Barb, also dubbed “Britain’s foremost chansonnier and song stylist” is equally enthusiastic by the work of show promoters, Michael Powis and Tim Newbold.
“It’s a huge thing they are doing and they are doing it almost out of love,” she explained.
“If they are doing it out of love they get my vote straight away.
“The first time I came to the Swan I didn’t know much about them as I think my manager at the time found the venue and got in touch with them.
“But we became friends in 24 hours. I have full respect for everything they are doing for the arts. It’s a brilliant thing.”
uu Tickets cost £15 and the box office (at Delph Library) is open Tuesdays from 2pm–5pm; Wednesdays from 2pm–7pm; Thursdays from 1pm-6pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30am–1pm. Call 01457 874644 for more details.