Barbara Barrett

Barbara Barrett


Singer/Songwriter, Barbara Barrett creates acoustic music for the passionate soul with a patchwork of emotional experiences created by her colorful voice and heartfelt lyrics.


Michigan native, Barbara Barrett has been performing for over 12 years with 2 albums under her belt. She started her songwriting career in the Mountains of Big Sky, Montana but has rooted herself back in Michigan. Often sounding earthy and reedy like Jewel, she also can float upward into lighter, ethereal tones like Shawn Colvin. She highlights these moods in her expressive, colorful voice. While many singer-songwriters are clearly capable of displaying a patchwork of emotional experiences, very few of them can completely unify these experiences by depicting the tension between the instinct to suppress emotion, and the need to experience all aspects of an emotion and to express it. Barbara Barrett can.

Unlike many newcomers to the music industry, Barb also made her first music video, which features the song "Two." Produced and directed by Barb's filmmaker husband, Steven Oatley. The 3:10 song shows Barb's humble beginnings as a coffee-house singer. Her friends worked as actors, actresses and extras during the three-day shoot.

Life was good, but it was about to get better. A summer night's walk on the beach turned into a marriage proposal from her filmmaker boyfriend, Steve and life since has been at warp speed. After purchasing a house and building a garage there would seem to be little time to perform let alone write new material.

Barb's inspiration, which once came from lost loves and lonely car rides, had to be found somewhere else. In 2001, she started attending John Lamb's singer songwriter retreats in Northern Michigan. These annual events are more than just brainstorming sessions, but lessons in observing everyday people and creating something meaningful. In fact, one of her new songs, "Millie & Joe" is song assignment from Lamb's retreat.
This song and others debuted in June 2004 when Barb hit the road with Annie and Rod Capps and performed at The Sutler bar in Nashville, TN. With the support of friends and producer, Kristin von Bernthal, she was more determined that ever to finish her second CD. Kristin and Barb worked very well together recording in Kristin's basement studio called das doll house. Although the process took longer than anticipated, Barb and Kristin enjoyed their time together and are very proud of the project.

Listen to the way is a songwriting and vocal stylings evolution for Singer/Songwriter, Barbara Barrett. The album features 10 new songs with strong melodies and heartfelt lyrics. The songs on this album take on a more "pop-y" form than those on her debut album, "Two". This is a truly enjoyable new collection with some hilarious moments, some beautiful moments, and some hilarious and beautiful moments. The songs will take you to different times and places in other people’s lives, an overwhelming reminder of how art imitates life-perhaps your life. Listen carefully to “Listen to the Way” ….


Listen To The Way

Written By: Barbara Barrett

Just a little girl singing a song on the radio
Not more than 10 years old
Just listening to the beat and
Snapping her fingertips
Wondering what a catchy song

Listen to the way I write my life
Listen to the way I sing alone
Do you know what I fear
Could be something here

When i was just shy of 21
I picked up the guitar and I learned to strum
Seemed like forever I didn't put it down
Really trying to find my niche find my sound

29 now shook my soul
Where was this taking me did I want to go
Forgetting about the reasons that got me here
So hard to remember and face the fear

Just a little girl singing a song on the radio
Not more than 10 years old

Up North

Written By: Barbara Barrett

There’s a place I know
Doesn’t take long to get there
In this great lake state of mine
Four hours north of the city
Where you leave all your worries behind

Up north heals your mind
Somehow gives you a sign
Takes you far away
From the troubles of yesterday

It’s just past the 45th parallel
A place my brothers and sister know well
The northern lights of the summertime
And sailing winds on the lake

Winter’s first snow doesn’t melt until april
You wake one morning the bay is frozen white
Even at its coldest it’s got beauty
This great lake state fits me like a glove

She Is Not Alone

Written By: Barbara Barrett

Why do the things she loves
Not feel like they did before
She packs her bags and closes the door
Keeping in mind that this may not
Be the way that she should go
Starts her car and gets on the road

She in not alone
There is someone waiting
Can she hold on strong
Keep her heart from fading

Her strength comes from within
Her muscles are strong and trim
She is tired but she forges on
Her blue eyes sparkle beneath the sun
She rides faster ‘til she done
Sees the light and the finish line

She is not alone
There is someone waiting

Turning the corner by night by day
The pain slowly slips away
She is free at last from the past
She has finally won that race
Faster than the pace
Raises her hands feels like she’s won
Never knew it had begun

Crazy Little Mountain Town

Written By: Barbara Barrett

Crazy Little Mountain Town
Let me tell you a story about a
Crazy little mountain town
It had the moon on the horizon
Had the snow upon the ground

You say you're going to leave it
I say I don't believe it
Say you're going to make it elsewhere
Then this crazy little mountain town
Crazy little mountain town

Some say that it is too small
Everybody knows everything
There's people we don't like
Others are our best friends
But we all have something in common
It is our views of lone mountain

And the love of this mountain
Keeps us moving on

Let me tell you a story about a
Crazy little mountain town


Written By: Barbara Barrett

Headed out on the Highway, skis on top of the car.
A bike on the back and a new born heart.
I didn't share a tear for the first 300 miles.
Until I hit Oneida County. Speed Limit 75.

I lost my pen between the seats.
My Merit's were all gone.
I looked out on the horizon and I became strong.

I was 20 miles from Utah when I wrote down this song.
I knew that I had loved you but I knew where I belonged.
200 miles from Salt Lake where I would stay for the night.
My brother and his girlfriend would never put up a fight.

I lost my pen between the seats.
My Merit's were all gone.
I looked out on the horizon and I became strong.

Millie & Joe

Written By: Barbara Barrett

Millie & Joe had lived in that Bungalow for over 60 years. The avocado appliances now site on the curb. They met at the neighborhood corner bar where Joe was a cook He remembered she loved her martinis shaken not stirred.

Millie & Joe lived a simple life, No need for fancy toys.
Sitting on their front porch, watching all the girls and boys.

They were married at the church across the street.
Had four kids named Bobbie, Joe, Susie and Pete.

The children had all moved away,
But came home in early May

The house sold quickly to an Engineer and his wife
The memories held deep within those walls would
Surely touch their lives.


LP, Listen to the Way, 2005
LP, Two, 1999

Set List

30 Original Songs plus covers like Shawn Colvin, Jewel, Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin, Eagles, etc.