Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle
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Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle

Band Americana Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"The Washington Post on Jeff & Sarah's Live Set"

The show began with an impressive set by Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle, a charming husband-and-wife duo from east Tennessee. With their clear harmonies, elegant guitar and fiddle work and anauthentic love for the music, they ably keep the Appalachian music tradition alive. A spellbinding performance of their "Welcome to My Heart" -- soulful, thoughtful and gorgeously sung -- was about as perfect as a ballad can be performed.
-- Buzz McClain - Buzz McClain

""Barb Hollow Sessions" -Roots Music Report"

Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars.

Barb Hollow Sessions is such a cool CD, that features some finebluegrass/country music. Jeff and Sarah deliver these songs with an uncommon feel for each tune.

An album that was produced with expertise and with a knowledge of what bluegrass country is all about. This album simply has a realness few albums ever manage to deliver. - The Roots Music Report

""Barb Hollow Sessions"-Freight Train Boogie"

In its own quite understated way this CD is a masterpiece of modern folk music. And by “folk” music I mean some uncatagorizable blend of country, old-time, bluegrass and folk.
First class evocative vocals, brilliant song writing, tasty expressive instrumental back-up; this one has it all.
Given that the duo is features his guitar and her fiddle, comparisons to Dave carter and Tracy Grammar may be inevitable. And as much as I liked Dave & Tracy, I like these two even more. Though less lyrically mystical, Jeff & Sarah create memorable melodies & use simpler, more accessible language to capture the time honored themes in the best country music of home, God, love, family & friends. A simply gorgeous record. - Freight Train Boogie

""Barb Hollow Sessions" -Belgium"

“Barb Hollow Sessions” is the second album by husband-and-wife-duo Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle. And that sophomore effort is a firm confirmation of all the good that’s been told about ‘em after their 2000 debut “Dog Years”.

Barbra and Pirkle even won the renowned Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at that year’s Merlefest. And that has more than onceproven to be a particularly good omen in the past.

“Barb Hollow Sessions” contains eleven new songs by the couple.

While recording them they could count on the excellent help of Darrell Webb (mandolin), Floyd Bailey (banjo), John Pennell (bass)and Eric Lewis (dobro).

Barbra handles the acoustic guitar himself, whilst Pirkle is responsible for the fiddle job, the shaker and the thin whistles. The result
of their collective efforts is a wonderful record, reminding us of the best of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer. Albeit that country and bluegrass are the main ingredients on this here effort.

Barbra’s “Only Home I’ve Had” for
instance is a story song vaguely related to the work of the Louvin Brothers. And “Bury Me In The Red Clay”, sung by Pirkle, is a bluegrass ditty with such gorgeous harmonies, that again we’d start searching underneath that
same tree. Elsewhere the accent lies more on folk (“Slip Away”), Americana (the duet “Quiet me”) or singer-songwriter stuff (the dobro-laced “Today It Don’t Look Like Rain”). And yet there’s no trace of incoherence here, quite on the contrary! “Barb Hollow Sessions” stands rock solid as a whole.

The absolute knock-out being the album-closing bluegrass version of “Prayer For My Friends”, a song you may also know in Terri Hendrix’ rendition, which can be found on her album “The Ring”.

We’re putting this one on the checklist for our next year’s end list. Which is saying quite a lot about the quality of the album. - CTRL. ALT.COUNTRY, BELGIUM

""Barb Hollow Sessions" -Americana UK"

Recorded at their home in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, this husband & wife duo hit the mark with their second album of traditional bluegrass & mountain music. While the songs on 'Barb Hollow Sessions' touch on a number of industry- standard bluegrass issues that almost border on the cliché... the spiritual 'Thank You Father for my Dad', prison ballad 'Only Home I've Had' and the self explanatory 'Love Can Do A Lot With A Little'... they are delivered with class & some exemplary musicianship. Of particular note is simply transcendent mandolin playing of Darrell Webb. All in all this will do very little to upset staunch traditionalists & keepers of the bluegrass flame; for the same reason it will do nothing to rock the cynics either. - Americana UK

""Barb Hollow Sessions" -Austin, TX"

If I had to explain this album in one sentence, it would be the following: The Barb Hollow Sessions boasts beautiful bluegrass music masterfully recorded straight out of a home in Tennessee.

Luckily, this is a CD review so I can explain further.

The husband and wife team of Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle penned every song on this album, and what a range of emotions it covers. Barbra has a very Vince Gill sound and Pirkle has the soft, almost Allison Krauss-like voice. Their voices meld together to create an amazing sound.

They take turns singing lead on most of the eleven tracks. The subject of depression is touched on with the Pirkle lead "Today It Don't Look Like Rain". She also sings about teenage motherhood on "My Baby Rocks The Cradle and Cries."
Barbra takes singing duties on the thankful tracks "Love Can Do A Lot With A Little" and "Thank You Father For My Dad."

Barbra is at his best when he sings the powerfully simple "Welcome To My Heart." An acoustic guitar and fiddle are all that is needed to lend to his great voice and wonderful lyrics. "Welcome to my heart / it's all right, come on in. I know it feels kinda cold in here / that's not the way it's always been. This used to be a nice place to live / before everything was gone / Welcome to my heart / please make yourself at home."

Barbra and Pirkle duet on tracks like the two-timing "Bury Me In The Red Clay" and the introspective "Quiet Me."

The final song, a duet entitled "Prayer For My Friends", is a beautiful ending to this album. I recognized it as a song that San Marcos singer Terri Hendrix had covered. It's always nice to hear the original version.

Maybe it's the fact that the album was recorded in their home, maybe it's the fact that Barbra and Pirkle are married, maybe it's the fact that they layed down most of the vocals in their own bathroom, but this album is a slice into the hearts of the performers. It almost feels like we were invited into a private concert between two people very much in love. That is the magic of this recording.

I recommend you pull up a front porch and slap a copy of Barb Hollow Sessions into your CD player and watch the sun go down. You'll be glad you did.
- Sean Claes

"On Jeff & Sarah..."

This music is pure & wonderful Americana......The mountains, and the people who make up their culture are beatifically sculpted into words by Jeff and Sarah. Listen to life from their perspective. It'll reach down and grab ya!.......I know it did me."
Larry Cordle, Writer, "Murder On Music Row", "Highway 40 Blues", and many others... - Larry Cordle

"On Jeff & Sarah..."

Jeff and Sarah write honest songs that are true to the heart and quick to get to the soul of this listener. As an artist covering their song "Prayer For My Friends" I've witnessed the positive affect their music has on an audience. What they have is a gift that I'm honored to share."
Terri Hendrix, Grammy Award Winning Songwriter... - Terri Hendrix

"On Jeff & Sarah..."

"Jeff and Sarah’s lyrics and melodies will take you right to the heart of the mountains of East Tennessee. Their songs are well woven stories of life, love and heartache." Larry Shell
Writer, "Murder On Music Row", and many others...

- Larry Shell


The single, "Bury Me In The Red Clay" off the latest all original record, "Barb Hollow Sessions," peaked at # 12 on the November Bluegrass Unlimited National Single Chart, spending 8 months on the chart.

"Barb Hollow Sessions" also made it's debut at # 6 on the Roots Music Report National Airplay Chart.

"Barb Hollow Sessions" has been in rotation since Jan 2004 at over 200 Americana and Bluegrass Stations.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jeff & Sarah play original acoustic music seasoned with flavors of American roots music: bluegrass, classic country, old-time, and folk.

Jeff & Sarah are winners of the Merlefest Songwriting Contest.

Jeff & Sarah's songs have been cut by a broad range of performers from Bluegrass to Folk to Country.

Jeff & Sarah were also the hosts & producers of the popular WDVX Live Radio Show, "Behind The Barn," for nearly 5 years. The show, broadcast/webcast LIVE every Wednesday night from downtown Knoxville, had a turnout of 200-300 folks for every show.

Jeff & Sarah have been married, to each other!, for 7 years and make their home in the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.