Joanna Barbera | Carnival Beginning

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United States - Texas

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Pop: Pop/Rock Folk: Anti-Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Carnival Beginning

by Joanna Barbera

Barbera’s music resonates like wind chimes on a Midwestern prairie. She writes to get closer to the mysterious contents of her being, her guts – and yours.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Just As Well
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3:22 $0.99
2. Rider
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3:46 $0.99
3. Bus Stop
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2:29 $0.99
4. Fat Face
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3:24 $0.99
5. Lover for Today
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3:12 $0.99
6. Maya
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4:10 $0.99
7. Goin' Down
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3:25 $0.99
8. Bus Stop
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4:20 $0.99
9. Drive On
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4:56 $0.99
10. Somewhere Is Tonight
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3:08 $0.99
11. Forgotten Trail
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4:31 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Joanna Barbera and her urban folk. "All my life I've been an instigator," she sings in "Just as Well fair warning that Barbera's not content with labels or neat little compartments, though the Tori Amos/Ani DiFranco influence is evident. The smoky timbre of her voice wraps cozily around confident originals like "Fat Face" and the Waitsian lope of "Bus Stop," just enough to inspire a return trip.
–Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle

She sings about her experience, but her creativity makes it so you can’t know for certain. Joanna Barbera’s ethereal lyrics, reminiscent of the songwriting styles of Tori Amos and Cat Power, work like an Expressionist painting – depicting nothing in its exact form yet inducing overwhelming feeling in the listener. Live performances spur audience members to describe Joanna’s style as nothing less than “pure.” Meaning – what they hear sounds as if it’s coming straight from the inside, no filter, no polish needed. Raised in the New York City area, Joanna began playing music at a young age, saddled beside her grandmother on the piano bench while she reeled out old standards. Over the years, she took up the guitar and took the road, traveling from the east coast to the southwest and on further to the west coast, stopping in San Francisco, where her playing eventually landed her a regular headlining gig at the famed Hotel Utah. Currently, Joanna lives in Austin, Texas. “My songs are like my home,” says Barbera, and she takes them with her wherever she goes. In Austin, Joanna has fastened herself a fine five-piece band. You can hear them regularly at the Cactus Cafe where she released her debut CD Carnival Beginning on January 21st, 2009 . When in New York City, Joanna’s been known to play at beloved venues like Manhattan's Rockwood Music Hall and The Lit Lounge as well as Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn. Her voice is a tender flame, lit bright and warm, but always heaving within it – the possibility of something dangerous as a burn; a dark sultriness. Whatever she is playing, Joanna always plays it in her distinct sound. Sparse, affecting, lingering, Barbera’s music resonates like wind chimes on a Midwestern prairie. She writes to get closer to the mysterious contents of her being, her guts – and yours. And what she finds there, she will sing out to you with an intimacy that is as close as breath on your face.


to write a review

Amanda Cangelosi

Carnival Beginning
I listened to this album for two weeks straight, and it made me ace not one but TWO take-home exams. Joanna's sultry voice is soothing, moving, and evidently very intellectually stimulating. I love it!

annette taub

Carnival Beginning
Love it..Her voice is beautiful and has a calming affect within me when listening to her music. She's a great talent and I think we'll be hearing much more of her to come.

Anthony Papillion

Carnival Beginning
I usually don't like independent artists. I don't like the vocal quality, I don't like the production quality, and the songwriting often is sub-par to many major label acts. But Joanna Barbera is different. I like her.

Ms. Barbera has the kind of voice that grabs you at the first song and carries you through an incredible sonic journey until the last. She experiments with different vocal phrases and slightly different styles and it all comes together for one of the most incredible recordings I've heard in years.

Her music is soothing and the kind of music you might simply sit back at night with your iPod plugged in and relax to. The lyrics and style remind me a lot of people like Tori Amos and Jewel and every time I listen to this album, I find something new I like about it. Can't wait for the next one.

Ms. Barbera's music is honest, real, and pure. Goodness knows that's what the listening public has been longing for for years.