- Bryon Harris
Barbara J. - 'Rainy Day People'
Review by Patrick Joseph
“Rainy Day People” contains a smooth sound and a rich emotional tone. Barbara J. is earnest and expressive in her vocal delivery of this classic song by the great Gordon Lightfoot. The crisp backing band produces a very effective groove which keeps the music pushing forward. Wonderful pedal steel melodies fill the cracks delightfully, while a guitar solo adds a nice texture to the music. The quality of the band creates a perfect backdrop for Barbara J’s effortlessly passionate vocals. Listeners will love what she’s done with this tune.
The song offers a very relaxed sound with deep conviction.
“Rainy day lovers don't lie when they tell 'ya they've been down like you…Rainy day people don't mind if you're cryin' a tear or two.”
Barbara J. is confident and deliberate with her vocal expressions, which very clearly enhance the emotional tone of the music.
“Rainy day people always seem to know when you're feeling blue…High stepping strutters who land in the gutters sometimes need one too."
This song seems to swirl around the room and captivate listeners in a dream-like state. The tempo and groove are perfect for reflection, and the subtle intricacies of the melodic expressions serve as a catalyst for deep thought. All elements combine to create a touching homage to the often unsung heroes of everyday life. Barbara J. does a great job of recreating this timeless piece of music while reimagining the sound and feel just enough in order to offer listeners a new experience. The integrity and spirit of the original is left in tact, yet something new is also produced. All the pieces fit together to create an excellent work of art in Barbara J’s version of “Rainy Day People.”
About Barbara J.
Barbara J. Williams is a Southern California singer-songwriter known most notably for her first two releases “Sundown: A Gordon Lightfoot Retrospective (©2014)” and “A Box Full of Records (©2019)” (recorded under her artist name, “Barbara J.”).
Barbara spent her formative years paying the usual dues in folk groups, choirs and rock cover bands before moving to Southern California. She began writing songs but was always drawn to some of the songs that were the soundtrack of her youth. She eventually reached out to her cousin, Jim Reilley (of alt rock band The New Dylans), who was a producer and session player in Nashville. Together they began sharing back and forth songs they mutually were inspired by and one of the big common threads that emerged was a mutual love of Gordon Lightfoot. A few quick text messages compiled a list of favorites and as fast as the notion came, they began recording “Sundown: A Gordon Lightfoot Retrospective”. Reilley roped in his Nashville pals Eric Fritsch and Jake Clayton and the album was recorded in Nashville and LA in 2014. Featuring a well cultivated collection of some of Lightfoot’s best works, the album was an immediate success on independent radio. Barbara’s cover of “If You Could Read My Mind” has received great reviews and attention and several of the other tracks have had their share of time on various indie music charts including Reverbnation, Pandora and Number1music blogs.
Her second album, the more eclectic “A Box Full of Records” began life as a few follow up singles that eventually led to a full-length collection. Featuring songs from the 1970’s and 1980’s, Barbara did some soul searching and picked songs from artists as disparate as Electric Light Orchestra, The Carpenters and Poco. Reilley also helmed the production of this album and along with some of the same personnel as “Sundown,” as well as Michael Webb of Poco, the album was released in 2019 to similar indie radio success.
Barbara third album, ‘Only Yesterday: Remembering The Carpenters,’ released on February 14, 2021. This carefully curated collection of covers features her take on some of the legendary music duo’s greatest love songs, as well as “The Uninvited Guest,” with Jeffrey Tweel, one of the song’s composers, as her accompanist. She's busy in the studio now, working on songs for submission to film projects, as well as on her next studio project, an Alt Rock/Avant Pop
tribute album featuring songs from a band whose music starting in the late '60s has inspired New Wave and indie-rock genres over the years since.
To learn more about Barbara J. visit her website