"April Barrows has a voice that's reminiscent of Maria Muldaur
and Blossom Dearie, which is to say, sweetly agreeable and gently
"She has a supple voice that can luxuriously wrap itself around
a word. All the better to make imagery and emotions expressed more
JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE
"April Barrows' own compositions are as lovely as the Nat King
Cole and Duke Ellington songs she covers."
MARIE CLAIRE MAGAZINE
"Barrows sings with a vibrant, sprung-steel quality. On ballads
she is always hinting at a subtle swing and on the mid- and up-tempo
songs she really flies."
JAZZ JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL
"I can't think of a single outstanding jazz singer-songwriter
in the previous history of Nashville. But boy, we've got one now.
If you are a fan of classic jazz, or simply a fan of great swing
swing, you need April in your life."
MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE, Robert K. Oermann
"With a voice that's clear, persistent, and soothing, Barrows
walks a tightrope between sultry and playful. Thanks to her players'
tight mixture of lazy brass lines, wandering clarinets, and sweeping
rhythms, each track has a relaxed feel making the record sound like
a credible blast from the past."
"April Barrows has the sweetest croon, which winds like a river
through a landscape. She brings a blue shade to her songs that enriches
and deepens them beyond mere kitsch value. She re-imagines American
music and creates something wholly new. "
Quotes On April's Songwriting
But the real star of the project is Barrows, a little-known
Nashville tunesmith whose catchy melodies and clever wordplay make
"My Dream Is You", "Jumping Into Spring" and
"Burning The Toast" prime candidates for a permanent place
in the American songbook,"
THE WASHINGTON POST, GEOFFRY HIMES
the new songs are what make this disc such a pleasant
surprise. Five of the twelve tracks are from the pen of April Barrows,
a Nashville tunesmith whose songs could become new standards for
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, BOBBY REED
But Swing's main intent is to showcase the significant
songwriting talents of Nashville's April Barrows. It's impossible
not to be charmed by the cute playfulness of Barrows' newlywed lament
"Burning the toast," the perky bounce of her "Jumping
Into Spring" or the syncopated exuberance of her "Cupid
Shot Us Both With One Arrow," on which Bogguss partners with
Ray Benson as a sort of latter-day Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood."
JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE, CHRISTOPHER LOUDON
are new songs that sound as though they were written
50 years ago."
ASSOCIATED PRESS, JOHN GEROME
there are five cuts by Nashville songwriter and jazz
singer April Barrows, who writes in the Nat King Cole idiom with
smart, modern lyrics, inventive melodies, and a wondrous sense of
ALL MUSIC GUIDE, THOM JUREK Reviews
All You Need Is The Girl
Even though it has been a long wait since April's remarkable debut,
My Dream Is You, the waiting has not been in vain. Once again, most
of the music and lyrics are hers and, also as before, these are
beautifully crafted songs. In performance, the same huskily confident
vocal sound is in evidence, and she delivers her lyrics with all
the appropriate nuances. Also repeated, is the accompaniment of
her long time musical associate (and occasional partner in writing
and arranging) guitarist David Hungate.
Together, these consummate artists, aided by a subtly supportive
rhythm section and guest soloists, who include saxophonist Denis
Solee and veteran guitarist Chet Atkins, provide a delightful set
of what must surely become standards of jazz and popular song.
Swing2bop, Bruce Crowther
This is a fantastic record, and the artist should be on a major
label. There are lots of great jazz singers out there, there are
even a number of them in Nashville. What there seems to be is a
profound lack of is fresh, new jazz songwriters. April Barrows has
been writing great jazz material for a number of years. Her 97 release
on Kokopelli Records, My Dream Is You, had rave reviews and a lot
of airplay, but the label folded and killed some of the momentum
crucial to the proper launch of a great artist.
All You Need Is The Girl is absolutely loaded with great tunes,
and the very cream of the crop of jazz players. Matt Rollings on
piano is an understated knockout, as is Denis Solee on tenor, alto
and clarinet. I love co-producer and arranger David Hungate's guitar
and trombone work, and Neil Rosengarden on trumpet is always a pleasure.
There are three great bassists: mostly Larry Paxton, but Jim Ferguson
and Charles Dungey also contribute superb tracks. Kenny Malone on
drums again demonstrates in truly singular fashion that essential
and invisible are not mutually exclusive. He can swing almost silently.
The vocal sound of April Barrows is alluringly smooth, sweet and
smart. Her melodies are as meticulous as her flawless lyrics. These
are new jazz classics from a great artist.
Vocalist April Barrows, has released All You Need Is The Girl, a
follow-up to her celebrated and award winning My Dream Is You. Her
voice is clear, bright and slightly antiquated in it's Billie Holiday-like
curls and cooing vowels. And to make matters even better, Barrows
is an accomplished songwriter, out of whom classic sounding melodies
and Tin Pan Alley lyrics seem to tumble effortlessly. She's backed
here by a large, swinging band featuring Denis Solee on reeds, and
Matt Rollings on piano. This is pure vocal nectar.
My Dream Is You
April Barrows is a very appealing singer who swings and gives just
the right amount of emotion to the lyrics. What is unusual about
this set is that she composed ten of the dozen songs (three of which
are co-written with David Hungate who doubles on guitar and trombone)
and that they are strong enough to become standards if this CD is
discovered by others. The vocalist is assisted by a high-quality
group of mostly obscure players from Nashville: trumpeter George
Tidwell, Denis Solee on reeds, guitarist Andre Reiss, pianist Beegie
Adair, Bassist Roy Huskey Jr., drummer Chris Brown and occasionally
Farrell Morris on vibes in addition to Hungate. Barrows uplifts
"I'm beginning to see the light," but it is the inclusion
of so much excellent new material that is most intriguing and makes
this a highly recommended set.
All Music Guide, Scott Yanow
April Barrows sings like a songbird of yore: think a young Rosemary
Clooney, June Christy, the Boswell Sisters, and make sure to include
Patsy Cline, too. She has a supple voice that can luxuriously wrap
itself around a word. All the better to make imagery and emotions
expressed more tangible. Songs on My Dream Is You--all of which
are about the ups and downs of romance-sound like jazz standards.
But surprise, they're all originals by Barrows. Her lyrics, with
lines such as "I'm adding on a room in my heart for you,"
recall an era when it was hip to be sweet and sentimental. The band,
all Nashville session men, squarely complement Barrows, swinging
hard, with the horn and guitar work shining brightest. Most of the
material comes off mid-tempo. Barrows' clear voice carries a girlish
yet knowing tone. It's a what's old is new again deal that works
Jazz Times, Deni Kasrel
Accolades and Appearances
1999 Artist Of The Year - Franklin Jazz Festival
1997 Nashville Music Award - Independent Record Of The Year
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Jazz Entry
National Public Radio - Weekend Edition of "All Things Considered"
Mountain Stage - West Virginia Public Radio
WVXU Featured Artist -"Riders Radio Theater"
WOR - "Joe Franklin Show"
WGLT Featured Artist -"Women In Jazz"
WMOT Featured Artist -"Improvised Thoughts"
WRLT Featured Artist -"Real Jazz"
WPLN Featured Artist -"Nashville Unlimited"
KNBT Featured Artist - "Crossroads"
KFJY Featured Artist -"Buddies Of Swing"
Disneyworld - Jazz Company at Pleasure Island-Orlando, FL
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Jazz Club of Sarasota - Sarasota,
Casino Ballroom - Catalina Island, CA
Riverbend Festival - Headliner - Chattanooga, TN
City Stages Festival - Birmingham, AL
Jubilee CityFest - Montgomery, AL
Artsplosure - Raleigh, NC
Summer Lights Music Festival -Nashville, TN
Chet Atkins Musicians Days Festival - Nashville, TN
Tin Pan South Festival - Nashville, TN
Franklin Jazz And Blues Festival - Franklin, TN
Southern Festival O books - Nashville, TN
American Artisans Festival - Nashville, TN
Ford Theater - Country Music Museum - "Nashville Unlimited"-
South By Southwest Music Festival - Austin, TX
The Green Mill - Chicago, IL
King Of France Tavern - Annapolis, MD
Club Iota - Arlington, VA
F.Scott's Jazz Bar and Restaurant - Nashville, TN
Café 123 - Nashville, TN
The Bluebird Café - Nashville, TN
Café Milano - Nashville, TN