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Deb Barr: Journal

Autumn's Golden Days - September 30, 2012

The change is upon us...the days are shortening and mornings are cool. We snuggle beneath the covers and struggle to rise, but the morning comes sunny and blue and we have no choice but to revel in the wonders of the day.

The following lyrics are from my song, "When The Snow Flies"

(Copyright 2003 -- All Rights Reserved). Enjoy.

Winter comes to Colorado. You can feel it on the wind, so soft and sentimental. It calls you back and brings you home once again. The sun rises high on the canyon walls and the meadow grass turns brown. Leaves from the cottonwood trees fall in a golden carpet on the ground. I live a thousand lives -- I dream a million dreams when the snow flies.

Winter comes to Colorado , sometimes a lamb, sometimes howling on the wind. Everything changes with the snow. The forest sleeps til spring. Willows bend with their burdens and and the pine trees kiss and sigh. As I walk out in these open fields beneath the Milky Way tonight, I live a thousand lives -- dream a million dreams -- when the snow flies.

November in Colorado -- the leaves soon fly away. There's white caps on distant peaks and the sky is gray, sometimes for days. The river runs low, but the river runs clear. The trees stand tall and brave. A fire burns in this heart tonight to keep the cold away. I live a thousand lives -- dream a million dreams -- when the snow flies.

Telluride Volunteer Ball & Local First - September 6, 2012

Saturday evening, September 8th, I will have the pleasure of joining my friend Jeff Solon and his swinging big band. The Telluride Volunteer Ball is sponsored by community members in thanks to the thousands of volunteer hours put in by Telluride locals over the summer to produce one major festival after another. Bluegrass, Jazz, Film, Blue & Brews, the Ride, Yankee Doo-Dah -- it's unbelievable the talent that has passed through the San Miguel Valley in a span of four short months, otherwise known as summer and late summer. The Telluride community is astonishing in its support of the musical arts. I toast all their efforts!

The following weekend I'll be doing a fundraiser for Local First! -- a Durango-based nonprofit under the direction of friend Leeanne Vallejos. The fundraiser will feature appetizers and tapas using locally raised produce and beverages and will be held at the Durango Discovery Museum on Friday, September 14th from 5 until 7 pm. I will be joined by drummer Mark Rosenbaum.

Durango Local Authors Fair - August 1, 2012

Jim Womeldorf & I have been selected to participate in the local author's book fair at the Durango Public Library on Saturday, September 29th from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The book fair in sponsored by the library and Maria's Bookstore, one of our most favorite bookstores ever. Our chapbook of poetry & photography, "There Will Always Be A Place," will be on sale at the fair and also at Maria's starting the week prior. (Maria's Bookstore is located on Main Street in Durango, Colorado, or you can find them on the web.) We are excited to be included and hope the book takes little wings of its own.

Grace, Jazz & Finally, Rain! - August 1, 2012

Yes, finally rain, but not predicted for jazz festival weekend, which is just a few days away in Telluride. I will be there with friends and family and am looking forward to the music, as well as my performance on Saturday night for the patron party at Gold Mountain Gallery (downtown Telluride on main street). I'm not leaving until after those funky Meters finish their Sunday night set. (For more info on the lineup, visit I had the opportunity to write the program copy for the festival again this year and the more I learned about the bands, the more excited I became. It's a nice variety with something for darn near everyone, with a lot of focus on New Orleans. Sunday morning I am guest musician at Telluride's Christ Church. If you are in the neighborhood, come on in...

Peace & Love, DB

Red Horse Concert - June 11, 2012

Red Horse - Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky - played on Friday night at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, Colorado to a great crowd. It was a beautiful concert, with many excellent song choices from the songwriters and a few covers as well. Kaplansky's performance of Gilkyson's song "Sanctuary" was particularly lovely...just as lovely on the album as well, so if you get a chance pick it up. Not a bad song on the set. Some really great music coming from these songwriters. If you don't know about them, find out.

Losing Jeff Sweet - June 11, 2012

Jeff Sweet, pianist extraordinaire, left the planet last week after a courageous battle with cancer. It's a big loss to the musical community of southwestern Colorado. Jeff has long been a part of the scene, since his early days with New Moon and later with Hues of Blues. He was a mainstay in the Durango musical community.

For years Jeff was the pianist for Jeff Solon's swing band, and I was the vocalist. When I wasn't singing, I often stepped back behind the piano, and just watched him play. He was almost always brilliant, even when dealing with the after-effects of his many cancer therapies. His hands were amazing - almost twice the size of mine - and he could create stunning voicings. He was also a mad man about rhythm and could hammer the piano into submission, without ever losing a hint of musicality, or his precision. So lovely sometimes it could break your heart - sometimes so intricate and complicated all you could do was smile in wonder and disbelief.  A few times I was fortunate to have Jeff play for me at solo gigs, and I was in vocalist heaven.

Funny, smart - cranky with a sly smile - a man devoted to his daughter - athletic and deeper than he would let most of us imagine or know. Through those many years of watching him and listening to him play has truly been a musical education, and I will miss him and the beautiful music he brought into my world.


There Will Always Be A Place,

Reflections on a Western Colorado Landscape,

with poetry by Deb Barr & photographs by Jim Womeldorf,

is now available at Buckskin Booksellers, Ouray, CO

Mountain Fever Gifts, Ouray, CO

Good Dharma, Ridgway, CO

Cimarron Books, Ridgway, CO

or by contacting us through this web site or at

Judy Collins - February 25, 2012

Last evening I was front row at the Judy Collins performance at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, Colorado. She was amazing in every way. She looked astonishingly fit and beautiful for 70+ years. She told wonderful stories that took us on a musical journey of her life--and mine. When I was 16 years old, my boyfriend broke up with me by giving me her Wildflowers album and instructing me to listen to the last cut -- Leonard Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye."

In truth that December day in 1968 was a perfect ending that led to a new beginning for me. It opened the door for me to visualize a female singer/pianist combination with grace and beauty, someone who could sing anything she wanted -- write beautiful songs and pick the very best songs of others to cover. That desire became the basis of my career.

Through her I learned about Joni Mitchell and Cohen and Ian Tyson and Jacque Brel and a host of others. Her politics affected mine, despite the diversity of our lives and my relative isolation in West Texas. Those politics remain at the core of who I am today, and I am so grateful to her for giving me a a different perspective. All the while she always seemed to me to have such beauty and grace and strength of character. I was and am still amazed by her talent. Last night her voice was pure and sweet and strong. My heart was captured yet again and she sang new ones (a lovely one about her mother) and some of my favorites -- Since You Asked (her own and her first!) and Both Sides Now (Mitchell).

It was a lovely evening.

There Will Always Be A Place - February 2, 2012

Photographer Jim Womeldorf and I have released our first chapbook of poetry and color photos, "There Will Always Be  Place." Jim actually produces each book by hand. Books are available at a few Colorado locations (Cimarron Books in Ridgway and Mountain Fever Gifts in Ouray) and we hope to be adding more locations soon.

You can also order the book online at or direct from us. Just click on "Contact Info" and send us an email. We'll get back to you.



This evening my friend Tommy Dean and I released our third annual holiday song for friends and family -- Moments of a Soft Persuasion -- a Peter, Paul & Mary song we performed years ago with The Trilogy (with Mark Best and Philip Craik, and later Fred Lester and Paul Blakemore). We recorded the basic tracks last year and Tommy, the focused genius, produced the recording (mastered by Phil Mezzetti). If you aren't on our email list, please sign up for next year's release. Our first two releases can also be found here on the website.

A Happy & Joyous New Year to All!


"There Will Always Be A Place" Available for Purchase Soon! - December 19, 2011

Jim Womeldorf and I are finally ready to release "There Will Always Be A Place" a chapbook of my poems and Jim's photographs. Jim designed the small (7" x 7") beautifully handcrafted books. The selected poems and photographs offer insights and reflections on western Colorado and its amazing landscape and environs. The book will eventually become available on the web, but for now, if you're interested, please get on our mailing list.

"There Will Always Be A Place" is available at the following stores:

Cimarron Books in Ridgway, Colorado

Good Dharma, Ridgway, Colorado

Mountain Fever Gifts, Ouray, Colorado

(Order the book direct at

Holiday Greetings - December 17, 2011

Holiday greetings, all. The land is still white with last week's snow, but the days have been cold and bright. I have laid down my first tracks of winter--literally, out twice on my cross-country skis, but the snow is fading and we need another storm. Word is that ice-skating on the ditch is excellent.

Tommy is putting the final touches on our 2011 holiday release (our third!). The year's song--it's a surprise--is not a holiday song in the traditional sense, but it is nostalgic and a tribute to our youth.

Christmas Day will find me in Telluride. I'll be singing a duet with Ginny Fraser (Gesu Bambino) on Sunday morning at Christ Church. If you're in town, come by. It's a lovely bunch of folks.


My Texas Heart is Joyful! - November 26, 2011

My Texas heart is joyful. The trip to West Texas (Clyde & Abilene) and to Austin was wonderful in so many ways that I haven't had time to process it all...plenty of material for future creative endeavors--that's for sure. My Dad is in pretty good health for his 83 years and I am grateful. I visited Mark Best (and his mother) in Abilene and even managed some harmony, which was wonderful to feel and hear. I had the opportunity to observe a video/recording of his daughter Darcy's string ensemble at Cooper High School. Incredibly accomplished young musicians all. David and Carol Grosvenor, Tommy and I had a great time in Wimberly at Linda's Fine Foods (try it--quite lovely) listening to Rick & Helen (aka Linda) Stockton (Colorado's Strolling Scones) on their Texas tour. I am neighbors with them now on the Western Slope, so it was great to see the old gang together on our old hill country stomping grounds. Thanks to Andy Murphy and Jan Seides for providing safe respite from the crazy Austin traffic. Thanks to Tommy Dean for being such a good friend. We spent some of our visit working on a new Christmas song. This new one is Tommy's to sing...very different for a holiday song and quite engaging. Also, thanks to old school friends Steve Cooper and Vicki Teague-Cooper in Santa Fe for the overnight. And thanks to Robin Reed for the good company and the new route back to the mountains and home.

Falling into Place with the Leaves - October 28, 2011

It's been awhile, but it's been pretty quiet since the jazz festival...time to write...time to think...time to ponder...time to practice. Working in Telluride a bit these days and it feels good to reconnect with old friends. Kiss summer goodbye! Snow has already come to the high country.

35th Telluride Jazz Celebration - August 8, 2011

The 35th Jazz Celebration in Telluride was the best ever. I shared the event with good friend and musician Yvonne Meek and her daughter, my niece Lynzi and her two sons--one 4 month old and one 4 year old. It was fun although also occasionally chaotic, since we were also camping out. Here are some highlights (in my humble opinion)

Friday: Tower of Power -- danced and danced and danced. They looked happy and the music was joyful and they were everything I expected and more. The singer, oh man!  And the horn section cooked.

Saturday: Badi Assad -- guitarist, singer, songwriter -- her lovely spirit shines in the music and she is an accomplished guitarist who writes great songs. Feminine and powerful. Delicate and strong. Wonderful.

Sunday: The Clayton Brothers. It's very hard to put this musical experience into words. It moved me to tears. It moved my friends to tears. It moved my friend's 16 year old daughter to tears it was so beautiful. So perfect. So rare. So fine. So truly jazz. I am forever grateful to the Clayton family for privilege of hearing the set.

The Saturday night set at Azadi Fine Rugs for the patron party went very well and the piano provided by my good friends Warren and Holly of American Classic Piano was a privilege for which I can't thank them enough.

Sunday morning's church service at Christ Church also went well. It was packed with people visiting from all over. My music was locked in Azadi so I had to improvise--reports are that it was moving. It was all I could do to sing through my tears of joy.

I visited to many friends it was like a family reunion. All and all it was a very moving, sweet time.

Regards, db




Summer's Lush Pleasures - July 28, 2011

The garden and the music are doing well. It's rained here in western Colorado, unlike Texas, where it's still bone dry. I've got two important gigs coming up. I'll be playing the Saturday night patron party for the Telluride Jazz Celebration (August 6) and then on September 3rd, will be one of the featured musicians at the Uncompahgre Valley  Muses Festival at the Pavilion in Montrose, Colorado. We may not live in the big cities but you'll be surprised at how good some of the ladies are and right here in our own backyard.

So needless to say, I'm hoppin', and I just finished writing the copy for the Jazz Celebration's program, which was great fun, and made me even more excited about the upcoming music. (Check out their web site:  The line is great, starting out with Tower of Power on Friday night. I expect to dance until I'm breathless, which at 9000 feet, is a distinct possibility. But oh, man, what beauty! Jazz and the San Juans.

Have a safe & happy summer. DB


SUMMER 2011 - May 27, 2011

My friend Yvonne Meek has launched MusicWest magazine--a great resource for music on Colorado's Western Slope. She has also put together the first Uncompahgre Muses Festival and I'm delighted to be on the venue. I'm also happy to say that my good friend, superb guitarist and bassist Kevin McCarthy of Durango, Colorado will be joining me for the performance. Over the next year I hope to do more performances with Kevin, and I'm looking forward to this new musical collaboration.

(Kevin's also an incredible artist. Check out his web site:

Tonight the garden is in bloom and sweet scents drift gently in the evening air.

In the distance one can hear the Uncompahgre roaring with snowmelt from the high mountains.




April's News - April 23, 2011

The tulips are up and bright in the yard but snow is falling from the sky. At home with the piano today, and that's fine by me. March was busy with a new baby in the family, a songwriter's workshop that left me writing for weeks, and the spring/summer issue of MontroseStyle. Now I look ahead to May...Bruce Cockburn in Carbondale on the 29th...camping on the Dolores in the "Honey Bee"...big band concerts in Montrose, Durango & Grand Junction. Happy spring!

March Just In... - March 6, 2011

This week I heard my first meadowlark of spring. I saw the first of the newborn spring calves in the fields, little black babies everywhere. In the yard the yellow pansies appeared overnight.  All this and snowstorms. Colorado springtime.

Deb & Tommy's 2010 Christmas Offering - December 13, 2010



Deb & Tommy's 2010 Christmas MP3 single, "A Stable Lamp is Lighted," will be released to friends & family late in late December! Watch your emails & keep the porch light on. As usual for the season, Santa's running a little late!


Happy Holidays & Peace on Earth - December 5, 2010

The Christmas holiday is just around the corner, and I've been spending lots of time with family. I've also taken some time for myself, skiing and tramping about in the snow. That's Jim Womeldorf's great shot of winter in the adobe hills above the Uncompahgre River near Montrose, Colorado.


Summer's in Bloom - July 16, 2010

I have been busy...not much performance, although Jeff Solon & His Big Band will be playing for a private function next week, and I am really looking forward to swinging with the guys. Meantime, I've got song ideas and writing projects simmering in the heat and continue to subject poetry for publication. One poem, "Learning to Love the Wind" was published this spring in the montrosestyle magazine.

Spring Has Sprung - March 5, 2010

Busy. Busy. Busy. The sap is rising in the willows.

Still Waiting for Snow - February 6, 2010

Waiting on snow. Staring a project with documentary filmmakersGage & Gage of Telluride, Colorado, and working on the poetry compilations. debuts! - January 14, 2010

Finally, Deb Barr has a web site, after years of encouragement by friends and family. It's a little slim these days, but gradually the site will fill you in on what's going on with Deb's career. Deb would like to thank friend and fellow musician Yvonne Meek for helping her get this darn thing going. If you want to listen to Deb's music, your best bet is still You can listen to all the cuts and even make a purchase, if you so choose. Regional photographer Jim Womeldorf contributed the homepage photo of Deb and her gone-forever dog, Max.

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