Barb Jungr, Forgetful Heart: Dylan and Cohen and Love ★★★★ Brasserie Zédel | January 20 - 22, 2022


When we think of cabaret, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan are not the names that come to mind. These poet/songwriters do not pen moon-in-June lyrics, and their works frequently do not give up their meanings easily. It takes considerable talent and intelligence to tackle their oeuvre and Barb Jungr succeeds on both counts. It is reassuring to have a singer who doesn't just mouth the words but who has clearly studied them and can bring the meaning out of them. Her articulation and emphasis provide drama and clarity to what can often seem obscure musings, and her lovely voice uncovers the complex emotions beneath the sometimes overwrought surfaces. Love in the world of both these writers is not a simple thing of joy. Dylan's "Love is Just a Four Letter Word" explores the emotional tangle of his complex relationship with Joan Baez, and the hauntingly beautiful lyrics of Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" delve into the nexus of friendship, betrayal, reconciliation and bitterness. Indeed, each of the dozen songs in this show takes the listener into a story and creates a medley of familiar yet novel responses. So, to savour the art of cabaret while pondering these two great writers' insights into the most tortuous of emotions, you don't want to miss this evening with Barb Jungr.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Steve Ullathorne.

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