Barbara Cohen
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Barbara Cohen

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"City Pages A List Jan 7th 2004"

BARB COHEN Mercurial Minnesota native and former Farm Accident/Brother Sun Sister Moon linchpin Barbara Cohen returns to town with a terrific collection of new songs that maybe not so coincidentally make repeated references to home. Cohen hauled her golden pipes out to L.A. a few years ago when the techno-folkie hybrid Sun Moon briefly hit the big time. Now she’s back with her new album called California (Girl and Her Monster records) a gorgeous, dark streaked evocation of bitter truths, yearning, and redemption that probes places where “Dreams are lost much faster then there found.” Laced with mandolin, steel guitar and accordion, the sound is a rootsy blend of alt-folk, country and pop. Topped with Cohen’s riveting vocals and intriguing lyrics, this is the kind of sophisticated territory frequented by Rosanne Cash.

-Rick Mason-
Minneapolis City Pages
- The Minneapolis City Pages


"HITS Reviews Cohen's New CD"

THIS WEEK’S MIX: A singer-songwriter I’ve admired for a while, Barbara Cohen, has resurfaced with California (A Girl and Her Monster Records), an album of earthy, shimmering beauty and twangy accents that more than makes good on the promise of her earlier work. It’s strong throughout, but "Swimming Life" occupies a privileged spot in my iPod...

-Simon Glickman-
HITS MAGAZINE
- HITS Magazine March 12, 2004


"The Onion Reviews Cohen's California"

“Her latest is California, an album of thoughtful, smoldering roots-rock where Cohen's vocal and songwriting gifts continue to shine, especially on the track "Swimming Life." - The Onion


"Give Cohen's Breathtaking voice A Listen 12/16/04"

“A multi-instrumentalist and sterling tunesmith with an absolutely breathtaking voice, Minneapolis native Cohen has shown admirable musical adventurousness in her relatively brief career…On her solo debut, “California,” Cohen steps away from confining genres, opting for a broader, classic singer/songwriter approach that brings elements of her previous work to a memorable collection of original songs.”
—Jim Musser- Iowa City Press Citizen
- Iowa City Press Citizen


"Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Reviews California"

“…Cohen’s new album revisits the turf she trod in the late ’80s with the bluegrass-tinged rock outfit Farm Accident, but it does so with a maturity and sophistication that make California perhaps the finest work of her career. The songs are meticulously crafted, and the arrangements, replete with layered guitars, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel, and dulcimer, benefit from studio skills honed by her electronic work. But its Cohen’s voice—always strong, but now showing far more range and subtlety—that puts the album over the top.”
—Bill Snyder- Mpls. St. Paul Magazine
- Mpls. St. Paul Magazine


Discography

California by Barbara Cohen
(Girl and Her Monster Records - 2004 )

Luminous by Luminous
(Formerly Brother Sun Sister Moon);
Bleep Records (2002)

The Great Game by Brother Sun Sister Moon;
(Virgin Records- 1997)

Black Lake by Barbara Cohen;
TRG and Girl and Her Monster Records - 1996

Dark Houses by Barbara Cohen;
Self Released - 1994

Vane by Farm Accident;
Red House Records - 1992;

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

BARBARA COHEN

Minneapolis, Minnesota has long been known for its vibrant artistic community. From this varied landscape dotted with thousands of lakes (sky blue in the summer and frozen solid in the winter), ground, breaking musicians have both shaped and shaken the national music scene. It is from this environment of stark contrasts that Barbara Cohen developed and now flourishes.
Barbara Cohen is a uniquely gifted vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (flute, guitar, mandolin, piccolo etc.) who continued to explore a variety of musical genres including folk, roots rock, trip-hop and African-Middle Eastern influenced electronica. The industry first took notice with her band FARM ACCIDENT. Signed to Independent record label Red House Records, Farm Accident grew in popularity with their rowdy hillbilly roots rock. Featured on NPR’s Mountain Stage they were invited to perform at many prestigious music festivals including the Winnipeg Folk Festival. When they disbanded, Barbara went on to form LITTLE LIZARD merging cello, fretless bass and African percussion. Little Lizard’s disc Black Lake received national recognition from publications such as CMJ, which noted “Cohen’s songs stand out with a unique flair but her skill at painting word pictures is where she really shines.”
A series of awards followed including a 1995 Fellowship Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for artistry and composition. Barbara Cohen was further recognized in 1997 when she was named both artist and songwriter of the year by the Minnesota Music Awards. It was a stellar year for the young artist who was about to take another leap.
Joining forces with childhood friend techno pioneer Paul Robb (Information Society) the two formed BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON releasing The Great Game independently. It was a vast departure from Barbara’s previous recordings. BSSM was full out trip hop and was being called, “One of the best female/male techie collaborations since the Eurythmics” by CMJ. A strong cult following and rave reviews caught the attention of major labels. Virgin Records signed the band in 1997 and the two moved to Los Angeles to begin recording Luminous.
Luminous took trip hop to a new level of global sophistication. BSSM were sought out by English rave dignitaries ORBITAL resulting in a the four way collaboration "Way Out," included on Orbital’s big beat-techno classic “Middle of Nowhere”. And Cohen’s ethereal vocals on BSSM’s Luminous attracted France’s Air to invite her to sing on their hit song "Radian" off their album 10,000 HZ LEGEND.
Cohen’s musical explorations as a singer-songwriter and composer persisted as she dug into her adopted home of Los Angeles with its surrounding deserts and multi-cultural influences. She placed tracks in several major films and television shows, scored for independent film and popular gaming promos. In the midst of this journey Cohen chose to return to her roots and the simplicity of storytelling in song. Barbara Cohen’s return to independence birthed California, where the focus is on her radiant vocals and the power of song. Minneapolis City Pages calls California “a gorgeous dark-streaked evocation of bitter truths, yearning and redemption.” Years in the making, California brings the artist full circle.