Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
Joe’s Pub, NYC, July 9, 2015
Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes
I am not a fan of Bob Dylan and even less a fan of Leonard Cohen. Nonetheless, I was eager to see Barb Jungr’s show Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen because I had previously seen a marvelous Dylan tribute show by her. A British chansonniere, Jungr is a dynamic, kinetic vocalist whose elocution and exquisite diction make the lyrics of Dylan and Cohen very meaningful. She is also extraordinarily witty and a joy to watch.
The opening number, Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” was done in a manner that left the audience breathless. Jungr jokingly remarked that she collected songs with the most words, which was definitely applicable to Cohen’s “Who by Fire.” She took a break from singing with a monologue hilariously comparing the very different personalities of Dylan and Cohen. Jungr’s remarkable work on harmonica added to the enjoyment of Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell.” “The Future” featured an excellent piano solo by accompanist Tracy Stark, whose work throughout was exciting and moved the show along nicely. Calling Dylan the American Shakespeare, Jungr closed with a non-stop breathless, extremely lively “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” The audience (even me) joined Jungr in singing the encore, “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
Barb returns to Joe’s Pub July 16 & 17.