Press Materials


Barbara Jean grew up immersed in a world of music and sound, honing her early gift for the violin and a musical legacy passed from grandmother to mother to daughter, into a sharp eye for songwriting and a skilled hand as a multi-instrumentalist. Calling the rugged grandeur of Lake Superior's North Shore home for the last several years, she has developed her craft through constant live performance sharing bills with notable acts such as Trampled By Turtles, Leon Russell, Ben Nichols, Eilen Jewell, The Pines, Low, Jonathan Edwards, Martha Scanlan, Meg Hutchinson and more.


"Barbara Jean has a subtle, seductive voice, she writes understated songs with a bit of north woods mystery in them and she totally charms an audience. Do not overlook her." Larry Groce, Host of NPR’s Mountain Stage

"The entire album runs deep, and repeated listening makes you feel that Barbara Jean has some very personal stuff she's sharing here, life stories of the heart and from the soul…When listening I hear the sound of middle America; the kind that runs from deep in Texas over to the Mississippi River, and up through the plains to the flat lands of Iowa and the icy cold snow and winters of Minnesota." Easy Ed, No Depression

"Minnesota's answer to Emmylou Harris." Jon Bream, Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune

"Barbara Jean is one of those artists who has a depth of subtlety that we don't see often. Her playing is deep like an old-timer, and her sense of songwriting is contemporary, low key, and wicked clever, and she has an ease in her voice that is disarming, which all aligns with her as a woman. It was a joy to be involved in the making of this record." Bernie Larsen (El Rayo X, David Lindley, Cry on Cue, Lucinda Williams)

"Beautiful and honest, The Great Escape is a rare collection of songs blooming with vulnerability and longing... a debut sparkling with understated Americana brilliance." David Huckfelt of The Pines

“Packed with a radiant story and haunting voice, Grand Marais performer Barbara Jean's new album The Great Escape perfectly balances the heartbreak in Barbara Jean's voice with the resonance of her band. Neither intrudes on the other, but rather are married perfectly.” Youa Vang, City Pages Gimme Noise

“An amazingly beautiful, smooth and well recorded folk/country album. Barbara Jean’s banjo, fiddle and soothing vocals create a wonderful listening experience…the approach is fantastic…plenty of soul in the lyrics and delivery and she takes it on masterfully.” Paul Whyte, Duluth Reader

"Listening to Barbara Jean recalls memories of traditional folk and country artists ranging all the way from Hank Williams to Gillian Welch and her songwriting shines throughout the record." Karl Leslie, St Cloud Times

"Barbara Jean has an outstanding sound. With her warm, calm vocals floating over her rich Americana vibe, her career is gathering momentum quite quickly." Diane Miller, Editor, High Plains Reader

  • Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Champion 2011
  • Honorable Mention 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest
  • Fall 2012 Performance on NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Program




Photo by Stephan Hoglund


Photo by Stephan Hoglund


Photo by Stephan Hoglund


Photo by Stephan Hoglund


Photo by Stephan Hoglund


Photo by Melissa Koch


Photo by Melissa Koch