Joanna Barbera
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Joanna Barbera


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"The Hotel Utah"

So last night the Hotel Utah had my complete attention…Rowb the doorman gave me the 411 regarding the first unionized strip joint. He reminded me to check the union labia. I was immediately impressed with the place. I was there to see Joanna Barbera, originally from the east coast, singer songwriter moving to Austin to get deep and dirty in the twang movement. SXSW is seductive enough to consider Texas.

Before Joanna came on, my ears were introduced to the Dynamortals. Oh hell yeah these two can kick it! They had a deep tight set. Their music is…the soundtrack to being human. It’s refreshing for SF to have this kind of talent gracing us for only $6.

Then with her heart strapped to her thigh, Joanna appeared on stage welcoming us into Wednesday morning with her lovely voice. Sista’s got lungs! What is so amazing about Joanna is that she has an incredible range in her voice along with the creative ability to write compelling lyrics. She teased us with her originals by interjecting covers. Marc and Cara were brilliant additions to Joanna’s set. If I closed my eyes I’d swear I was in Nashville.

The hottest part of the evening was yet to come…Allegra from the Dynamortals and Joanna got very Victorian on stage sharing a mic and an encore.

-Amy Foell

"Joanna Barbera at Dolores Park Cafe, San Fracisco"

There's not much that makes me speechless except for Joanna Barbera's voice; so uniquely sparse and lyrics compelling... You've got to check her out. She'll leave you wistfuland wanting more. This Girl's for real! -Rachel, Dolores Park Cafe - Rachel, owner and booker


Self Titled: Joanna Barbera



“What is so amazing about Joanna is that she has an incredible range in her voice along with the creative ability to write compelling lyrics.” – Amy Foell, of “Song O’ the Day”

“There’s not much that makes me speechless except for Joanna Barbera’s voice; so uniquely sparse and lyrics compelling … You’ve got to check her out. She’ll leave you wanting more.” – Rachel, of Dolores Park Café.

She sings about her experience, but her creativity makes it so you can’t know for certain. Joanna Barbera’s ethereal lyrics, reminiscent of the songwriting styles of Tori Amos and Cat Power, work like an Expressionist painting – depicting nothing in its exact form yet inducing overwhelming feeling in the listener. Live performances spur audience members to describe Joanna’s style as nothing less than “pure.” Meaning – what they hear sounds as if it’s coming straight from the inside, no filter, no polish needed. “The songs capture emotions of an experience,” Barbera says of her music, “Music makes me feel life and energy on a deeper level. I suppose I would love to do the same for my listeners, but I have little control over how others perceive my music.” Raised in the New York City area, Joanna began playing music at a young age, saddled beside her grandmother on the piano bench while she reeled out old standards.
Over the years, she took up the guitar and took the road, traveling from the east coast to the southwest and on further to the west coast, stopping in San Francisco, where her playing eventually landed her a regular headlining gig at the famed Hotel Utah. Currently, Joanna lives in Austin, Texas. “My songs are like my home,” says Barbera, and she takes them with her wherever she goes. In Austin, Joanna has fastened herself a fine five-piece band, you can hear them monthly at the world famous Cactus Café or on at popular club Momo’s just off 6th Street. They were also features live on the Fox morning show just last May. When in New York City, Joanna’s been known to play at beloved venues like Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn, and Manhattan’s The Lit Lounge.
Her voice is a tender flame, lit bright and warm, but always heaving within it – the possibility of something dangerous as a burn; a dark sultriness. Whatever she is playing, Joanna always plays it in her distinct sound. Barbera’s music resonates like wind chimes on a Midwestern prairie. She writes to get closer to the mysterious contents of her being, her guts – and yours. And what she finds there, she will sing out to you with an intimacy that is as close as breath on your face.
Her enchanting EP was recorded at San Francisco’s Motor Studios and look out for her new full length LP will be released fall, 2008.