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Barbara Kessler Link:

Mollie O'Brien

    Barbara Kessler
    Barbara Kessler
    2000, Purple Turtle Music

Pigeon holes, categorization, style characteristics...all convenient tools when describing an artist, yet some just don't fit your typical classifications. Barbara Kessler is generally a "folkie" but she can and does rock and roll with a nice Beatle beat. Her songs are sensitive barometers of emotional beauty accentuated by an expressively warm alto voice. Her band consists of herself, Adam Steinberg's guitars, sitar, drums, sampling... husband Phil's groovy, upbeat skin work, bass by Jeff St. Pierre, keys a la California keymeister Bob Malone and even some guest vocals by Jennifer Kimball (ex-The Story) and Tim Day. Each song evokes a different feel with some being bubbly pop while others are like serious Dar and others sound Maharishi/George Harrison inspired. The variety and upbeat feel give a listener enough difference to keep the ear throughout. My favorites tended to be her rocking groovers, although autobiographical opener "Red, Yellow, Blue" [this is a link to a clip on Kessler's web page] set the tone for thoughtful introspection. "Happy" is happy, with reality mixed in. "Confession" has a Nield's like slidey, swoopy that captures relationships and "Bridge Mix" [this is a link to an mp3 clip on Kessler's web page] is a 60s popfest that plots the perfect date. Not offering a mono-groove or mono-feel, Barbara Kessler writes autobiographical works that span a wide range of emotional content and all are fine ear candy. Why else listen if it isn't? Log on to and the disk is available c/o or at 1-800-937-3397.
—Mark Gresser

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