To TV audiences she may be better known as a four-time Emmy-nominated writer and producer (Joan of Arcadia, Judging Amy), but to avid readers she’s a novelist with 11 published works whose imagination has been honoured by numerous institutions, including the American Library Association in both their Best Books and Notable Books categories.
Currently, Barbara Hall is serving as a co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning Showtime drama Homeland, inking a two-year deal with studio Fox 21. In addition, she is developing a separate script at CBS. But Hall is also a founding member of the alternative country rock band The Enablers, with whom she has released two albums. As a solo artist, she released her debut, Handsome, in 2005 and second CD, Bad Man, in 2013.
Producer Peter Himmelman had this to say about Hall: “For 10 songs this brimming with intensity, the making of this record was implausibly pain free. It was easy and you can do it too — just like we did: in two nights of recording and a couple overdubs. Easy yes, but first you’ll need to find an artist like Barbara Hall, a fantastic singer, a writer who knows the magic of what makes songs connective and a hawk-eyed observer of both the foibles and triumphs of the human spirit. On second thought, that might be hard.”
The eight-year gap between “Bad Man” and 2005’s terrific “Handsome” finds Hall resurfacing in radiant, surefooted fashion and confident of her abilities. This latest album is a bold, ambitious adventure, an exhilarating roller coaster ride through the many twists and turns found along the album’s ten tracks. Barbara Hall’s obvious strong desire to stretch herself artistically has taken a new direction. This new recording covers innovative, intelligent material, the sound is fresh and exciting with Hall’s style of heartfelt emotion and gutsy deliveries blended into each mix. Several tracks delve into thorny, sophisticated themes with complex, progressive arrangements, while others feature the type of material one could identify as adult-orientated easy listening.
The album opens with the title track, “Bad Man”, a tune with deep, rich tones and warm glowing harmonies. Hall’s vocal performance is impeccable; you feel the depth of emotion pouring into every verse. The lyrics are powerful, offering the kind of inspiration most will find personally relevant.
Throughout the album Hall changes gears, with slower or faster rhythmic structures which gradually move like a hypnotic cadence, while the symbolism within her lyrics, are more thought provoking than is apparent. Her songs touch just about every aspect of music, from country and pop to rock, what more can you ask for?
Standouts are “Criminal Times”, “Little Old Soul”, “Bad Man”, and my favorite, “Thunder Road”. This is probably the best piece of work that Hall has done to date and I expect she will be doing even greater things in future…if she can find the time between one Tv show and the next!
Barbara Hall is a lovely, talented artist, and her voice, songs and spirit are gifts to a world in search of true beauty.
The Official CD Release Show will be held on October 19th, at the Mint in LA. Every Friday the Barbara Hall crew will be giving away VIP tickets to random fans who have liked Barbara’s Facebook Page at: fb.com/barbarahallhq
OFFICIAL LINKS & WEBSITES: