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Deb Barr: Journal

Pinon Arts - March 26, 2018

Wow...it's been awhile...but looking forward to the next endeavor...Pinon Arts...in the West End...more news to come...!

Link for New Release - Moments of Soft Persuasion - May 12, 2017

Here's the link to Deb & Tommy's new song release, a cover of Peter, Paul & Mary's "Moments of Soft Persuasion."

 

http://cdbaby.com/cd/debandtommyanddebbarr4

 

The collaboration continues!

New Release from Deb & Tommy - May 3, 2017

Deb & Tommy will be releasing a new single and publishing a video...a cover of Peter, Paul & Mary's Moments of Soft Persuasion...on May 7th! Find it on CDBaby.com.

Spring Has Sprung - May 24, 2016

Spring has sprung here in the adobes. The bees are busy buzzing. Burying their noses in lavender, mint, roses of pink, yellow and orange, yarrow, dianthus (white and red), bleeding hearts, purple and wine irises, blooming chives and rosemary. The humming birds won't give me a break and are almost tame, and a bit demanding...little buggers. On the horizon...clematis and day lily blooms and spinach and lettuce big enough to harvest. The cosmos, pumpkins and beans are sprouting. I enjoyed the best three strawberries I've ever eaten (got 'em before the chipmunks). Privileged indeed and grateful for the beauty and bounty of this green earth.

December Wishes 2015 - December 2, 2015

 

To everyone -- known and unknown -- I wish you lasting peace.

 

 

 


Fires Are Burning In the Northwest - August 24, 2015

Dispirited by haze

with endless dawn, with

smoke and distances

layered gray upon gray.

Heedless, the yellow birds

peck and chatter on

the nodding heads of

August sunflowers, soon

to fly and too thrilled with

summer and her bounty

to bother about land laid

bare by wind and fire

and the looming arms

of ash-filled skies.


DEB BARR August 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Springtime in the Rockies - April 5, 2015

Springtime in the Rockies

I spent the morning talking to the pear

and tulips in a ragged row, said

turn back. Think again. Reconsider.

It's just feels like an early summer wind.

It's warm, but not spring. Not yet, tulip brain.

Listen here. You are wrongheaded.

Winter wanes but not for long.

Frost will lay your green lair low.

Some things I cannot change but still dread.

Some things I wish I didn't know.

(Deb Barr - All Rights Reserved)

Bluebirds and the New Year! - January 4, 2015

Somewhat unusual, I think, for the bluebirds to arrive so early...but they are here in a flurry, hurrying about their business in a whirl and aflutter. Sort of the way it feels to start a new year with lots of plans for music, life, love, joy, family, friends, gardens...a whole life aflutter, awaiting springtime and the promises of summer...a world away from skis and snow and thermometers below zero! Happy new year!

Good Thoughts for A New Year... - December 27, 2014

"Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive, not just within you, but within the collective consciousness as well."

--Sanae Lathan

 

May we all achieve a higher consciousness in the new year.

Much love, DB

Christmas Eve in Telluride - December 17, 2014

After I moved from Austin to Colorado in 1981, Telluride became my new home. I still have strong roots there, although I have moved from the banks of the San Miguel to the hills above the Uncompahgre. So I am always happy to be asked to provide the music for the Christmas Eve services at Telluride's Christ Church. So many of the faces are familiar, while others are not -- but all are friendly. The church is packed with regulars and visitors alike, and I am always moved by the excited faces of the children lit by the candles. I love being the musician for such a wonderful gathering. So if you happen to be in Telluride on Christmas eve, join us. The town is beautiful this time of year, decked in its holiday best. The view from the gondola is wonderful...

Alone In Wonderland - December 6, 2014

Some good things just take a little time to come to fruition. Maybe it's the deep knowledge that individual lives are transient...or perhaps one needs to simply "make hay while the sun shines," as my grandmother used to say. Regardless of the motivation, Tommy Dean and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We are still friends and have maintained our long musical partnership through the years. Individually both Tommy and I have pursued our own interests and passions -- Tommy is in Austin and I'm here in Colorado -- but together we are "Deb and Tommy," and have been for a long time. So now I've joined Facebook -- which was existentially challenging -- and we've put our holiday song "Alone in Wonderland" out into the world to make its way with our Facebook music page, "Deb & Tommy," and by releasing the single on cdbaby.com. I anticipate putting out another single in January -- Texas is Mine -- which I completed with Mark Best (also a childhood friend) and amazing musician. (I have been fortunate to have very talented friends.)  For some, these may seem like small steps, but for me, they reflect my continuing commitment to music and the creative life. Thanks to everyone who have supported me in this lifelong endeavor.

Soft October - October 11, 2014

My summer season at the Arroyo was one of the most fulfilling musical seasons of my life. No doubt the grand piano had something to do with the joy of playing. My thanks to Sean Murphy for the opportunity. The plan is to return to my Saturday nights sometime after the first of the year, mostly likely February and March. Until then, I'm spending some down time...autumn is the perfect season for reflection...camping in the San Juans has been spectacular and I am reminded of why I choose to live in this glorious place.

Kevin McCarthy Trio & SO MUCH FUN - June 3, 2014

In the last few months I have had the pleasure and privilege of sitting in with the Kevin McCarthy Jazz Trio -- at the Arroyo in Telluride and at the Sherbino in Ridgway. Both times have been so much fun for me. They are a power trio who can still deliver with nuance and great heart. And they are great guys! Guitarist McCarthy, who is from Durango, and I worked for many years with the Jeff Solon Big Band. He is amazing, and I don't use the term lightly. Dapper Mike Enriquez, from Rico, is a familiar face in the regional music community and cooks on his string bass. On drums is Chris Goplerud, from Ridgway, a seasoned professional with a sweet touch, who I hear is not confined to just jazz. I'm looking forward to a chance to work with these amazing musicians again soon! I'll keep you posted.

Holiday Notes - December 21, 2013

Snow falls as I write this holiday note. Here in the Adobes, the hills are white, mottled with brown sage that has shaken itself free of its icy burden. Our skis stand at the back gate ready for another foray into the hidden bowl behind our house. The dogs wait in anticipation of the next gleeful glide down the hills to the river and the breathless climb back home. We are very grateful for, sometimes even astonished at,  our little private moments in paradise and the pleasure it brings us.  Life is good. The dogs agree. We are blessed. Peaceful. Happy.

I wish for each of you every good thing. Hope. Peace. Joy. Health. Love.

May you receive many blessings in the new year and always...DB

Moab Folk Festival - November 4, 2013

The Moab Folk Festival held its 11th (?) annual the first weekend in November. It's a lovely music festival, and something worth adding to your calendar. This year I went to Sunday's ballfield (outdoor) performance with the Parker Millsap Band, Eliza Gilkyson and Tom Russell. Millsap was unknown to me, but he's a singer/songwriter from Oklahoma -- only in his early twenties but a good songwriter and witty. His bass player is his best friend from high school -- so the roots of the band's music run deep and it shows in the performance. Eliza Gilkyson (see previous posts) was her usual wonderful self and it was a treat to see her with Nick Forster (yes, of E-Town) along with his wife Helen on some harmonies. Tom Russell came highly recommended and I wasn't disappointed. How did I live so long (and a Texan at that) without hearing his music? Good perspective. Wise. Sort of a wild man, but a musically educated wild man who crossed between his own music, Dylan's and even some flamenco with confident ease. His backing guitarist, Thad Beckman, was smokin' and apparently should be checked out in his own right (on my list). Music to bridge the gap between cultures and age. Wonderful. And then it rained, but not until the music was over, and then we all ran for cover. But the weather was great until then -- warm and pleasant. Someday the festival may lose its smallness -- and so maybe some of its charm. But for now, it's perfect and the music is always good. Check it out! You can go for the entire weekend (Friday night, Sat afternoon, Sat night and Sun afternoon) or purchase individual performances (they do sell out the indoor performances). Also check out the Mount Peale Bed & Breakfast...

In Memorium - Gerree Nash - September 20, 2013

Gerree Nash: In Memorium - 1924 to 2013

Despite our age difference, Gerree Nash and I were friends. Good friends. She was intelligent, funny and sharp as a tack. “Right up until the end,” says her daughter Judy Mordecai. And I am glad for that. Glad she got to spend her last days in the rambling old farm house on East Miami where she lived out the last years of her life, pretty much alone with the exception of a cat and toward the end, I hear, her grandson. I’m glad she died in the carved wooden antique bed that she loved, in a familiar place, surrounded by loving family and her beloved dolls. A privilege in this day and age.

Gerree was elderly, but not a recluse. No, Gerree she was active right up until the day she didn’t feel so good. She was losing her eyesight so she didn't sew as much or drive, but she was often out and about, relying on the Senior Bus to take her where she wanted, or needed, to go.

They tell me that when death came knocking, it happened quickly. The time was short enough not to suffer and long enough to “get her ducks in a row.” Could anyone have orchestrated it better? No, I don’t think so. Judy says she was “being bossy and making jokes” right up to her final exit. That was my Gerree, feisty and proud.

The last time I spoke with Gerree, which was too long ago…we think we all will live forever…she was working on writing her memoirs. She had finished the first 9 or 10 years at that point. Her memory was incredible and filled with nuance and an eye for detail that only an artist could see. We laughed about how long it would take her and immediately got off track talking about something totally unrelated. She was like that. We diverged a lot in our conversations.

I loved hearing her tales of traveling to California in the heart of the Depression with her mother and grandmother. How she was born on the 4th of July and thought all the hoopla was for her. Her tales of her grandmother's lodge on Red Feather Lake in the 1940s. Her fabric shop. Her costumes. Her dolls.

I listened to her many stories of her mother, a musician and a divorcee in a time when good women were neither. Her knowledge of local history. I loved it all. Opinionated and forthright, but usually right on, she was a joy and a blessing to be around. I took endless notes in hopes of writing not just one, but several articles, on such a fascinating, talented person whom I adored.

I guess I always thought Gerree and I would have one more opportunity to visit. I somehow thought she would be there “the next time,” even when I knew that each time we spoke, she seemed more fragile than ever. She didn't complain, not much anyway. More like aggravated to be daunted by her body. She would have liked to have danced more, sung more…acted on stage one more time. I hear that the Magic Circle Theatre has honored her recently, and I am grateful, because she deserves that recognition. Every bit of it.

So, goodbye, friend. I didn’t get that story written but I have all the notes – scribbled pages of them – and will pass them to your children. I will cherish what they represent -- the time spent. I am a better woman, artist, person, wife and daughter…for having known you. Thank you. Brava!

UCSJ Summer Concert Series - July 21, 2013

I am privileged to have been asked to perform in the United Church of the San Juans summer concert series (Ridgway, Colorado). On Sunday, July 28th, I will be "guest music minister" for the morning service and then in the afternoon, will be doing a full concert at the church (4:00 p.m - no cover but a "love offering" is always acceptable). The afternoon program will be a mix of music and poetry from "There Will Always Be A Place," my book co-authored with photographer Jim Womeldorf. Harry Strong, pastor of UCSJ, will be assisting me as a reader in both the morning service and afternoon concert. I am thrilled that my musical career has taken this lovely turn. UCSJ has given me a home for my music, and I am forever grateful.

Poetry Reading & Awards Ceremony - June 12, 2013

6 - 8 p.m.

Arroyo in Telluride

220 E. Colorado

Poetry Reading & Awards Ceremony

Top Four Poets in the Mark Fischer Poetry Contest

Samantha Wright, Kyle Harvey, Tony Saab & Deb Barr

1st Place, 2nd Place, Third Place & Honorable Mention To Be Announced

A Whole New World - May 10, 2013

Rain. Funny how it can change everything, especially in a mountain environment where summer forest fires have become a regular occurrence. A few nights ago, everyone in town was awakened in the early morning by a tremendous thunderstorm. Double-forked lightning. Thunder that rattled the red walls of the valley and shook the foundations. Wonderful. As the sun was rising, the birds were unable to contain themselves. They chattered so happily, I had to smile. The trees are all in bloom and the river is running clear. Springtime in the Rockies, and I'm here. A very fortunate woman.

April and Tommy's Return - April 4, 2013

My good friend and musician extraordinaire Tom Dean is arriving next week for a long overdue visit. It's been a while since Tommy graced the Western Slope with his presence, but I remember a time....Silverton September 1981, the Grand Imperial Hotel, a time that changed my life. Tommy and I had a two-week gig...our audience was primarily out-of-work miners with some hippies thrown in. We had a blast, if not an interesting time...and a close call one night with a very drunk...and armed....man banging on the band's doors looking for his wife, who was in fact, in Tommy 's room...not with Tommy but with his unwitting permission. Somehow we lived to tell the story. It was that same visit that we made the trip to Telluride -- we ate at the old Flora Dora -- and then out to Mesa Verde -- a 24-hour roadtrip through the land  that would become my future -- only I didn't know it at the time -- and here we are all these years later...after that fall, I went back to Austin, packed up my piano and sound system and headed for the land of my dreams -- Colorado.

Into Thin Air - February 28, 2013

Sometimes your friends seem to vanish into thin air, like my friend Boots who passed away a few weeks ago -- unexpected and much too young. We were new friends, but her loss reminds me how important it is to give a hug to someone you love, every day if possible...how crucial it is to put good thoughts and positive energy into a world that so often fails us. Rest in peace, Boots. Your smiling face will be missed. Thank you for being a messenger of love. You were such a fan, and it meant so much.

Remington's at the Bridges - February 17, 2013

Saturday night at Remington's went beautifully, so nice to be back behind the piano -- a new stage piano at that -- it places like a dream and has totally changed performance for me. Instead of fighting the instrument, I could relax and focus on the song. What a blessing. Remington's is talking Saturdays throughout the spring season, so we'll see. Did I say spring with a snowstorm at the doorstep this evening? But surely, it's upon us. The crocuses are poppin' up -- foolish and purple-headed. An evening ride across the Million Dollar highway revealed a melting snowbank and sure 'nuf, there was green watercress just as bright and beautiful as could be. We crept past the avalanche chutes -- winding up the passes -- Red Mountain, Molas & Coal Bank -- and descended into shiny lights of Durango -- safe and sound, waiting on the snow.

Snowdown in Durango - February 1, 2013

Okay, okay, so I'm normally more of a stick-in-the-mud but this year I got my "geek on" (this year's theme) at the annual Snowdown in downtown Durango. I laughed hard at the funny --and very bawdy--follies dress rehearsal on Tuesday night, but seriously -- hah! -- some of the writing was terrific -- someone called it "marginally controlled chaos," which it was, and there we were right up front by the stage. The next night I joined my niece Lynzi at the Summit where "Dr. Robert," a Beatles cover band from Crested Butte, Colorado, was playing. The place was rocking and we did our share, but I was probably the oldest person in the room. Oh, well, I was neatly tucked into my "geek" cover and I love to dance, so I did for hours. The band was top notch, excellent musicians and played all of our favorite Beatle songs one right after another. Western Colorado, catch 'em if you can!

December Tidings! - December 9, 2012

Greetings of the season, friends. Tonight the first really cold air of the season arrived -- zero degrees outside -- and finally it feels like December. I am delighted to announce that I will be giving a full Christmas concert at the United Church of the San Juans in Ridgway, Colorado, on December 16th at 3:00 p.m. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by. No cover (but donations happily accepted). Guitarist Jackson Martin will be joining me on some of the carols. We will be recording the concert and I'm very excited to be presenting a new song, "God Came Down," my first true Christmas song -- and only a few weeks old! My friend Chris will be supplying sweets and treats pre-concert (the doors open at 3:00 pm) and the music should last about an hour, so everyone can get home and get warm. Happy Holidays!

 



With Winter Comes the Holidays - October 26, 2012

For the past three years, Tommy Dean and I have "released" a holiday song, which we email out to our family and friends -- a sort of peace and love contribution to the universal consciousness, if you will. Tommy, who lives in Austin, and I go all the back to high school days in Abilene, Texas. Many many moons ago.

The first year we recorded an old song written by Tommy and me in the early 1970s, during our early professional days in Austin ("Alone in Wonderland"). The second year Tommy had a genius idea to use a song straight out of Episcopal songbook ("A Stable Lamp Is Lighted"). As usual, he conceptualized, planned and arranged. I just follow his directions -- mostly :-) -- and we have a great time.

Last year Tommy worked very hard on one of his songs, only to abandon it because, even though it was great Tommy Dean song, it was just too dark for the holidays and not right for the two of us. At the last minute he took tracks from another of our endeavors and turned them into a beautiful rendition of an old Peter, Paul & Mary song - "Moments of a Soft Persuasion," a song we first sang together as "the Trilogy," our first band. (Both songs can be found on this web site.)

But so much for the past. This year we are giving "ya'll" fair warning that our 2012 holiday song may not be released until post holidays -- very post -- like springtime 2013. Yes, yes, we know about the digital age, but we work best in the same room and Tommy is up to his knickers right now.

Even more important, he is setting up new recording equipment and needs to find his way around his new configuration. He is and always has been a mad man when he's working (creating) -- and might not answer the phone for days, or at least not reply. I know this and still I love him very much because the end result -- a song -- is something I cherish in my heart forever. It's a great friendship.

We've been considering songs for 2012 -- it's a surprise -- and we don't want to be held to any preconceived ideas about our choices -- but we have our hearts set on year four. So wish us well and stay tuned. Oh, yeah, and VOTE IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

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