Passages is an outstanding mixed genre collection of folk-pop, jazz, and country with beautiful, rich warm vocals and powerful lyrics that will captivate your heart and engage your spirit. Barbara masterfully combines the art of creating a "universal story" with vivid characters and music to craft songs sure to resonate a familiar emotional chord with the listener no matter what their background or experience. Love, loss, pain, aging, laughter, hope; Passages explores them all. The album features award-winning songs, well crafted arrangements, top tier musicians and outstanding studio engineering to create a collection of music that you'll want to listen to again and again and grab like a familiar blanket when one of the CD's stories parallels your own. Several of the songs on this album have received recognition in the international "Song of the Year" songwriting contest. With close to 12,000 song submitted in the monthly contest, two of Barbara's songs gained a "Runner Up" award; including the simple and sensitive piano-vocal performance of "I Remembered to Forget You", which reflects the grief and healing process involved in saying good-bye to someone you have loved. Her graphic and edgy song "See What You Made Me Do" about the cycle of domestic violence, also gained a runner-up status. Barbara's songwriting is not bound to a single genre. She chooses instead to let the style flow out of the lyrics and feel of the song. This results in an interesting and unpredictable mixture of music that will keep the listener tuned into the entire album. So who were Barbara's musical influences, and where does she draw her songwriting from? Here's Barbara's answer in her own words.... "I remember when I was singing in a lounge as a solo act in the mid 80's. A guy who had been sitting at the bar came up to me and said "I don't come here to think! Can't you play some other kind of stuff?" I was taken a back and in an apologetic tone explained that I was a folk-singer and that was the kind of music I played and maybe he should come back on the weekend and hear the band. Now, if someone thinks my music should be more like ...(fill in any other style of music) I don't feel the need to apologize. Over 20 years later, I'm not only singing songs that tend to be on the "thoughtful" side, I'm writing and recording them. Truth is, my roots were in the "coffee house" era of the late 60's and 70's. My favorite artists were Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Melanie and a faith-based singer called Honeytree. I loved their lyrics because they made me think, or rather they touched thoughts and feelings that were already inside of me - like love, pain, the environment, the war, politics, God and everything else that went through a young person's mind at that time when they were trying to make sense of their lives. In the midst of knowing I wanted to learn to play guitar and sing, I was also clear on one thing; I wanted to be a teacher when I "grew up." I wanted to be able to influence people in ways that could change their life for the better. Sure enough, I ended up teaching elementary school for 5 years and became a "singing teacher" that oftentimes brought my guitar into the classroom for impromptu sing alongs. I find it interesting that now many years later, I'm leaning more in the direction of being a "singer who teaches." Whichever order it's in, those two passions have always stayed with me. I think it's the teacher in me that loves to write about things that I hope will move, touch or inspire the listener in some way and I love to do that with a story. The power of story. Jesus knew that. In the Bible, I've read the stories He told about farmers, fisherman, prostitutes, rich young rulers, and lost sheep. In each one of them, I could find some part of me reflected there. With each reading, the stories seem to reveal "new truths" that I didn't see in them before; kind of like watching a movie for the second and third time and noticing details you never saw the first time. That is the power of story; they're universal. So, as you listen to the songs I've written about things like middle-aged love, shop-lifting, people who can't commit, lost love, homecoming queens, and caged birds that sing, I hope you find something of yourself there and that whatever it is, I hope it will move you, touch you, inspire you, make you laugh or just 'make you think.' And if that's not what you came here to do, well, there's probably a band playing somewhere on the weekend that you might want to hear."
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