The Latest News

Interview with Minnesota Public Radio The Current 

This week I had the opportunity to sit down and visit with Andrea Swensson, music writer for MPR's The Current. It's been exactly one year since I sold my home on Minnesota's North Shore and moved to the Twin Cities to pursue my music more seriously. It's been one heck of an adjustment and it was interesting to take time to reflect back on all the changes in my life. Check out the interview.

Barbara Jean and Southwire at The Dakota Oct. 26 

Mark your calendars folks! I’m absolutely thrilled to announce I’ll be headlining at The Dakota Jazz Club on Saturday, Oct. 26. I had the good fortune to open a couple nights for Leon Russell (check out the show review in the Star Tribune) in August and it’s really going to be a hoot to play there again with my full band. I will be joined for the show by Duluth’s breakout band Southwire (video). If you haven’t yet heard them, check them out! They have a stirring sound that resonates deep in the heart.  I am really looking forward to this night and hope you can join me! Special thanks to Noah Prisen for the great show poster. Here are all the details:
Date:  October 26, 2013
Time:  8:00 PM
Price:  $10
Venue:  Dakota | 1010 Nicollet Mall | Minneapolis, MN | 55403
Tickets:  612-332-5299 or

Gravel Road Touring Showcase at The Cedar 

Poster by Noah PrinsenGravel Road Touring, a Minneapolis booking collective, presents a night of indie-roots music featuring rising acts Chastity Brown, Actual Wolf, and Barbara Jean at The Cedar Cultural Center on April 5. What began as an in-house booking agency for Minneapolis-based roots act The Pines in 2007 has evolved into a co-operative, artist-run touring agency known for sharing high caliber music with fans around the country. The folks at Gravel Road believe there is no substitute for live music. It is a personal and social experience that is vital to building community in this digital age. This inaugural event will showcase the force of Minneapolis’ Americana roots acts currently featured on the Gravel Road roster. Doors at 7 p.m. with the music starting at 8 p.m.

Get your tickets!

Phone: 612-338-2674 ext 0 between 12 noon and 4pm ($2 fee per ticket)

In person: From a Cedar volunteer in the front lobby during events (no fee; cash, check, credit card), Depth of Field (no fee; cash or check only), or Electric Fetus (approximately $2 fee)

Online: Ticketweb (typically $2--$3 fee/ticket)
The Cedar is an all ages venue

Students with ID, seniors over 65, and children under 12 may purchase tickets at a discount at the door

"Come Spring Tour" with Chastity Brown 

We are pleased to announce the Come Spring Tour with Americana-roots artists Chastity Brown and Barbara Jean. The two performers will cover ground on both Lake Superior’s North and South Shore giving four evening performances in three lakeside communities. Come Spring kicks off on February 28 in Duluth, MN where the two performers will be featured on WDSE Public Television’s The Playlist at 9 p.m. The program will highlight the work of both musicians with live in-studio performances.

Come Spring Tour Performances:

• Friday, March 1: Stagenorth Community Theater
123 Omaha St E.
Washburn, WI 54891
Doors 7 PM, Show 7:30 PM
Tel: (715) 373-1194
Tickets $12 adult/senior/student

• Saturday, March 2: Arrowhead Center for the Arts
51 W. 5th Street Grand Marais, MN 55604
Doors 7 PM, Show 7:30 PM
Tel: (218) 387-2916
Tickets $10/5 adult/student

• Sunday, March 3: The Red Star
600 E. Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802
Doors 6 PM Show 7 PM
Tel: (218) 723-7827
Show sponsored by KUMD
Tickets at door $5


Thanks to everyone who made it out to the CD Release shows for The Great Escape in Minneapolis and Duluth. I had a blast meeting new folks, sharing music and catching up with old friends. So much of my life this last year has gone into releasing this album and it felt good to put it out offcially and celebrate with folks.

The Great Escape has been getting some exciting press the last couple of weeks. Check out the following interviews and articles:

From Paul Whyte of The Duluth Reader: Barbara Jean CD Release: The Great Escape

From Youa Vang of City Pages Gimme Noise: Barbara Jean on the North Shore, her love of the banjo, and moving to the Cities

From Easy Ed at No Depression: Barbara Jean's Great Escape

And, I had a great time playing live as an instudio guest on KUMD's Live From Studio A Sessions. Feel free to give it a listen.

A fall update

I had a blast as a guest on NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Show September 13. Mountain Stage put on two shows in Grand Marais at the North House Folk School and you can listen to a recording of the show hereTrampled By Turtles, Low, and Peter Himmelman also played that night and it was an honor to share the stage with such an excellent group of musicians. 

Performing on Mountain Stage is part of what has proved to be a very busy and exciting year musically. In January I received a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council to help produce an album of original songs. That is in process right now, thanks to Tom Fabjance, engineer extraordinaire, and
Bernie Larsen, world-class producer. It was recorded at Sacred Heart Recording Studio in Duluth, Minnesota and it is now available for download online and at shows! I will be having an official album release show in Minneapolis on November 16 at Icehouse. Stay tuned for details.

This summer I received honorable mention in the
Telluride Bluegrass Songwriting Contest, which was quite exciting. I also had a fun trip to Lake Superior's South Shore where I played at The Big Top Chautauqua opening for Meg Hutchinson. Last summer I won The Big Top's songwriting contest and they had me back to play. The Big Top also included a song from my performance last year in an episode of their program Tent Show Radio--and you can listen to it online!

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