Barb was recently featured in the Royal Oak Daily Tribune on May 12th.

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Emotional Landscapes
Singer-Songwriter Barbara Barrettís "Two"

If youíve ever spent time away from the flats of the Midwest, then
youíve likely discovered diverse scenery: jagged peaks, hidden valleys,
rolling hillsÖ

If youíve ever spent time away form the flats of suppressed feelings,
then youíve likely discovered diverse moods: highs, lows,
roller-coaster ridesÖ

Barbara Barrett has done both.  Originally form southeastern Michigan,
she has lived and worked in Big Sky, Montana.  Hereís where she formed
her worldview, in a Western locale of geographic extremes. Hereís where
she learned that for her, life is not complete without experiencing a
full range of emotions.

Whether it be speculative euphoria ("Potential Girlfriend"), tenacious
obsession ("Two"), futility ("Rainbows and Lame Souls"), or release
("How to Laugh"), Barbara Barrett has known all these landscapes
intimately.

She highlights these moods in her expressive, colorful voice.  Often
sounding earthy and reedy like Jewel ("Third in Line"), she also can
float upward into lighter, ethereal tones like Shawn Colvin
("Highway").

While many singer-songwriters are clearly capable of displaying a
patchwork of emotional experiences, very few of them can completely
unify these experiences by depicting the tension between the instinct
to suppress emotion, and the need to experience all aspects of an
emotion and to express it.  Barbara Barrett can.

In "Garbage Day" she warns a man who seems devoted to his own emotional
flatness that sooner or later his feelings, like garbage piling up, are
going to overwhelm him:
 

     "Seems like nothing can touch you
     The refuse is thicker than your thinking
     I got news for you honey
     Itís really going to stay
     On your listless unemotional garbage day
     Itís imminent and itís looming and itís not going away."

Yet, Barrett also realizes that even when you suppress emotion, itís
okay in the larger cosmic scheme, because itís part of an inevitable
evolution towards increasing emotional awareness ("Third in Line"):
 

     "Hide your feelings, say everything is fine
     Looks like it helps in the long run 
     Turns into a climb
     Up a hill and up a mountain so high
     I slipped on a rock and fell into the sky."

Finally, with deepest reflection, she admits that even in flat terrains
that run emotionally dry, it is still possible to know lifeís warmth
and abundance ("How to Laugh"):
 

     "The sun still shines in places less picturesque,
     The waves of life crash down even when thereís no water around."

In her aptly-titled debut CD album "Two", Barbara Barrett has reached
TWO milestones of achievement: one as a singer, and the other as a
songwriter.  She has uniquely interwoven the independent strands of
vocal expression, melody, rhythm, lyrics, and life philosophy into a
richly-textured tapestry of emotional landscapes.

Go out and get TWO of these CDís NOW! And give one to a friend.

-Written by April Hilger-Hampton

April Hilger-Hampton is producer and publicist for Aurora Borealis
Productions and its GoodArts Project, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
Her background includes singing in a variety of styles (classical,
jazz, rock, pop, folk, country) freelance writing about film, video,
and music industries for various publications, audio engineering
(concert sound & studio recording), and composing/arranging/producing
music scores for video, film, and other applications.  Her sixteen-song
music score for "Cabbagetown", a 70-minute video documentary, was a
1997 International Television Association Golden Cassette Awards Blue
Ribbon Nominee from the Detroit Region.  At present, she continues
creating and recording music scores, arrangements, and songs;
performing "young country" and folk-pop music; and producing and
publicizing live concerts and events for Aurora Borealis Productioní
GoodArts Project.
 
 

Above review is copyrighted. Copyright ã 1999 by April Hilger-Hampton.
This review may not be reproduced, either in its entirety or in any
part, without permission from the author.