Reflecting on 2016…

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It’s inevitable, you know… “death comes to us all…” But it still shakes the foundations of our being when we lose the people we love. And when we hear of the passing of the childhood heroes of the silver screen, who often seem invincible and unshaken by what life throws at them, we pause in sacred remembrance.

I never knew Carrie Fisher personally, but I felt like I did. Her public struggle with mental illness and advocacy for treatment resonate deep within me. I often admired her fearlessness, and the guts to tell it like it is. As an avid Star Wars fan, I am saddened by the news of her passing… But as a fellow struggler of mental illness, I am devastated by the loss of her advocacy.

And yet, in her death, so much attention is being brought to the issue about the stigma the disease holds. Quotes, like the one I included here, have spread across social media like wildfire… and will impact so many… myself included.

During my darkest depressive episodes, I find myself hiding, and in effect, I tend to “bench myself” more often than not, believing I am no good to anyone when I’m in that state.  Quotes like this inspire me to think, and do, otherwise; I am grateful for courageous souls like Carrie Fisher.

In that Spirit, I have high hopes for the coming year. I feel blessed to have booked 6 shows already in the area and hope to have more to announce next month. But the most exciting news I have to share is about a huge leap of faith I’ve decided to take. I have decided to attend a songwriter’s workshop in February to help move me to the next level on that journey. I am both incredibly anxious and excited about it, but I think it’s time to step out of hiding. I believe this is an important next step on that path. My loving husband has gifted this opportunity to me for Christmas this year. I continue to be overwhelmed by his loving support of me. (Thanks, honey!)

My next show will be January 19th at the lovely Morning Owl Coffeehouse in Munroe Falls, Ohio. Music starts at 7:00pm and goes right up until 9pm.  We will play a lot of the soft rock usuals, and then focus more on original music for the last hour.  Bring a friend and enjoy the quiet atmosphere this unique coffeehouse provides. Come early to secure a cozy spot on the couch!

Have a safe and blessed New Year’s celebration! See you soon!

jtb

 

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Dark Days and Saving Grace

I’ve had to take a break for a couple of months to manage my home and my health, but here are some brief updates:

The Debord Halloween Festival 

What a beautiful day it was! This year I went solo (as Rosie the Riveter) and had a grand time with an interactive crowd! This was a breath of fresh air for me in the middle of some tough months.

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Morning Owl Coffee shop

I have fallen in love with this local coffee shop in Munroe Falls, Ohio! Not only is it  a perfect fit for those intimate quiet listening gigs I rarely experience, but it is also I place I count on, where I go  to  decompress over a cup of tea or coffee and do my writing thing ;). I am looking forward to playing a couple more shows here in 2017!

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Cafe O’Play TONIGHT@ 6PM!!!

 We are back at Cafe O’play tonight at 6pm! Show ends promptly at 8pm, so come early and get a seat! We will be playing a couple of new covers tonight, but the second part of the show will be mostly my original songs, including some from my EP “Along for the Ride,” still available to buy on iTunes and at CDbaby.com!

Though recent months my struggle with depression has me on the ropes, I don’t ever stop looking for His saving grace in all this…and for me it has been the gift of music! I’ll leave you here with a link to my YouTube channel. Check out the playlist “Refuge”… it’s a huge  blessing to let others minister to me through their music during the dark days, reminding me the even though I feel like I’m trapped in a storm, He is my Refuge!! I know you will enjoy it as I have…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7W81oiC2jSKR7ZGWE0_SOw

Take care and God Bless!

jtb

Last minute…

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done! It’s true at my house… we get more cleaning done in the last 15 minutes before guests arrive than the rest of the week, sometimes!

This Saturday I have a “Last Minute” show at one of my favorite venues: Coffee Corners in Burton, Ohio. I’m filling in for my buddy Will Rivera who is under the weather (Get well Soon, Will!!).  Show starts at 7pm!

I recently added 5 more dates to the Upcoming shows page for this Summer and in the Fall. Check it out and make plans to come out and see us perform some of the new songs we are preparing.  So excited to share them with you!

Now, for this week’s link to “Songs from her music room Mac.” We will be playing this song at Coffee Corners this coming Saturday! Hope to see you there!

Jessie Barr returns to the Lunch Dock!

Beautiful day at the Lunch Dock!

Beautiful day at the Lunch Dock!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25th, I’ll be back at the Lunch Dock located at  975 E Tallmadge Ave, Akron, OH 44310!  The weather is going to be nice and the outdoor patio will be an ideal place to take in the refreshing atmosphere: a nice cool breeze, fresh off the BBQ grill sandwiches, and, of course, the soothing acoustic -driven music of yours truly!  I hope to see you there.

“Songs from her music room Mac” will be continued next week right here and on youtube! Stay tuned!

Thanks and God Bless!

jtb

Beautiful!

 

I am NOT a morning person! I never have been… My kids can tell you that…my husband could tell you …and I’m certain my parents would say that! So here I am in my 40’s and not much has changed in that department…

My kids are not early risers either.  Most mornings provide that one simple challenge: How in the world do I get my teenagers to wake up for school peacefully…cheerfully even? Is it even possible? Maybe if I put myself in their shoes?

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I remember getting up real early for school in the morning. After all, it took some time to sculpt the perfect ’80’s hairdo.  It took time and a few cans of Freeze hairspray… and a curling iron, of course! What I don’t quite remember as well is the aggravation my parents must have experienced getting me out of bed each morning!

Except this one moment: I think I was in Kindergarten… ( a very long time ago now).  My mother woke me up one morning singing “Beautiful” by Carole King.

“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel…”

My mother did not always wake me up that way, but I remember that moment like it was yesterday! She has always loved Carole King’s songs. I remember her playing the piano and singing many of the songs from “Tapestry.” That’s how I learned of Carole King…I can’t wait to see the musical about her life at some point in the near future.

So I’ve spent the last few months learning about songwriters like Carole King as I continue to create my own music. I am realizing that I can’t possibly imagine how the songs I write might affect the people who hear them.  Some songs- and arguably the best songs- reach people in ways we couldn’t possibly predict, with an impact that transcends time and goes beyond the message of the writer’s original intent. That’s what makes King’s music special to me. I wonder if she ever imagined a mother singing that song to wake up her 5-year-old daughter for school?

As I spend the next few months focusing on songwriting (and thinking of creative ways to nurture the “early riser” in my teenagers and myself), I hope to share new music with you here on the website and on YouTube. Please visit weekly to see new links and share the exciting journey with me!

This summer I plan to return to the Lunch Dock in Akron for a few shows once they open their patio in May.  I’ll update my calendar when I have those dates.

Once again, thanks for your kind words and for all of the love and support you offer, both here and on Facebook!

See you all soon!

jtb

 

Jessie and the guys, Ken Grove and Jason Burdett, at Cafe O’Play in Stow

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