Barbara McDonald with John Perkins
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Barbara McDonald with John Perkins

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


"Madmen & Lovers"

"The debut album from Barbara McDonald leaves a lot to be desired. A desire for more songs, more albums and the opportunity to see live performances. Madmen and Lovers is a collaboration and proof that the Internet may well be the future of the music industry, allowing new artists from across the globe to work together....... Madmen and Lovers has a reassuring number of tracks that can trick you into thinking that you've been here before, singing Electronic Karma on the bus, humming Pieces of You in the bath. For all it's familiarity make no mistake, this is somewhere new, somewhere new and exciting......Ms McDonald's voice is a place where an Eurythmics Annie Lennox would meet Joni Mitchell for lunch, and would be served coffee by Shania Twain."
- Lyndon Johnson, Independent UK Journalist & broadcaster

"Souldful vocals, well crafted songs"

“Soulful vocals, well-crafted songs, and imaginatively varied production set this debut album apart from the current glut of female pop singers. Sounding neither angry nor mousy -- the two main paradigms lately -- BARBARA McDONALD sings in a gutsy, sincere style informed by classic soul, Joni Mitchell, and Rickie Lee Jones. Having gone to hear McDonald and Perkins perform an acoustic club set after enjoying this disc, I would say, however, that "live" is the context in which this material sounds the best. Still, there's so many attractive melodies and so much inspired singing on this 16-song CD that the flaws are easily overlooked.”
- Steve Holtje, Editor CDNOW, New York

"Madmen & Lovers"

Reviewer: Tom Lounges
Hmmmm...let’s see now. Perhaps "new age hippie chick" might be the best way to describe the Pennsylvania based singer/songwriter behind this creative output of light fare. Neo-folky paeans of life and love strewn with pop nuances and slight Eastern influences fill this 16-song indie collection. It’s eclectic and esoteric. dangerously bordering on being New Age, but with a more sensual spark than most music of that genre. McDonald, who retired from music to raise a family, is back plying her talents after a nearly 21 year absence from performing and recording. And this return set is a stellar start for her mid-life renewal to her craft. A predominantly acoustic venture, this set includes tasty touches of grand piano, Appalachian Mountain dulcimer, and ebo for melodic seasoning. Yet it is her careening and crystalline voice that makes this record work. Her high range, lilting vocals often recall the likes of Joni Mitchell. and at times those of Joan Baez. The songwriting is fairly solid, although sometimes ringing a little too pretentious and saccharin-sweet. The trans-Atlantic production (done in both Pennsylvania and England is smooth and slick. The finest cuts are without a doubt the title track, Lay Me Down," ‘1 Never Lived This Day Before," and "Electronic Kanna." The latter track in particular is stand Out. An almost hypnotic dirge, "ELectronic Karma." burns itself into your brain and leaves you humming it long after the track has faded.
- Tom Lounges, Editor, Midwest Beat Magazine


Madmen & Lovers - album, White Eagle Records
Marie Elena - single, White Eagle Records/InterMet Records
Little Piece Of Heaven - single, InterMet Records
Wings - single, InterMet Records
Streaming files available at


Feeling a bit camera shy


Barbara McDonald is an accomplished singer/songwriter from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. She plays acoustic guitar and has performed since her college days. With the inspiration of her multi-talented partner John Perkins, her long held dream of releasing an album of original songs has now become a reality. Madmen & Lovers has sparked a lot of interest on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving airplay on BBC radio nationally in the UK and being chosen as pick of the day on WXPN on several occasions.
In 2000 Barb & JP, as we call them here, travelled to Nashville to record with the outstandingly talented Andrew Gold. The result was the hit track Marie Elena, which has topped several internet charts and to this day is still appearing on charts at various sites and is just one of the tracks from the new album in progress.

Following the internet success they released the track as a radio single and it has achieved airplay on both sides of the Atlantic, most notably on BBC Radio 2 in the UK and being selected as pick of the day on several occasions at WXPN (NPR from University Of Pennsylvania).

They have since followed up with other successes which include Barbara's 9-11 song Little Piece Of Heaven, along with Saving Grace and Wings.