She recently marked 10 years of recovery and that milestone has simultaneously brought her musical offering to a staggering place. Her debut album, entitled, "One Song at a Time" is nothing short of the kinds of miracles that are promised every day in the same kinds of programs that Barbara Jo touts as a huge part of her success. Bringing together the musical prowess of Colorado favorite KC Groves in Aaron Youngberg's ever-increasingly celebrated Swingfingers Studio, this album will awaken surrender in even the most hardened liver. Her rendering of George Jones, "Choices" would, in the words of her singing partner on some of the tracks Greg Blake, "bring a tear to a glass eye". It is not for the weak of heart, and the turnaround of gender in the track is especially gratifying. The cover of Kate Wolfe's "Medicine Wheel" is electrifying. Great instrumental work on behalf of the all star cast including Tyler Grant, Sally Van Meter, Damon Smith, Erin Youngberg, Jake Simpson, Andy Dunnigan, Greg Blake and Mollie O'Brien makes this an exquisite snapshot into our Colorado music scene. I was especially blown away by Elephant Revival member Charlie Rose's pedal steel and banjo work on the album.
In general, this is one of the best albums to come out of Colorado's bluegrass and country scene in many years. It certainly proves the exponential power of having a great team of artists pull together in support of someone like Barbara Jo, who not only sings with the level of accuracy that you might find in Linda Ronstadt's finest moments, but has been herself a champion of pulling together for the greater good. This is a karma album and the level of honesty and musical excellence is very real.
Barbara Jo, KC Groves, Aaron Youngberg and Swingfingers Studio and the host of Front Range glitterati that participated in this album have produced a world class album for an artist who has long been deserving of national recognition. Barbara Jo is a shining light to all those who seek to create great art through clarity and honesty. This is a special album made possible by a seriously notable cast of characters.
The album is due out officially in September. You can buy the album, read more about Barbara Jo and become more familiar with her work at barbarajokammer.com.
Annie’s review of this album appeared in our recent print edition of Powr’ Pickin’ but unfortunately our proofreaders missed a few typos, so we’re presenting it here as Annie originally wrote the review, typo-free!