One Song At A Time: Barbara Jo Kammer releases debut CD at 62

One song at a time. That’s how Colorado’s Barbara Jo Kammer approaches her passion as a music therapist, her life as a performer, and it’s how she navigated the challenging journey to recovery from decades of alcohol addiction. One Song at a Time also happens to be the fitting title of Kammer’s debut solo album.

An engaging collection of American Roots music, One Song at a Time was produced by KC Groves, award winner and founder of the group Uncle Earl. Groves brought together a stellar group of players to support Kammer on her debut project.

With the help of a crowd-funding campaign through the Indiegogo website, Barbara Jo set her sights on the lifelong goal of recording an album. Kammer is something of a poster child for the mantra, “it’s never too late.” She proudly shares that her dream has come to fruition at age 62, a blessing that she credits to being in recovery since July 1, 2007.

“I hope to inspire and bring joy to those who suffer from addiction,” she says.

In addition to her role as performer and band leader, Kammer is an active music therapist working with elders in retirement communities. She also works with other women struggling with addiction/alcoholism.

The new album includes a thoughtfully-chosen selection of covers and two original songs that deftly weave Kammer’s own personal story. Her version of the George Jones hit, “Choices” is nothing short of inspired, and the inclusion of the classic “I Can See Clearly Now” is a brilliant addition. Traditional favorites and popular classics show Kammer’s versatility with a powerful voice that is reminiscent of greats like Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, or Mary Chapin Carpenter.

The album includes a poignant original tune written by Barbara Jo. “The Winning Side” is an honest and personal glimpse at the artist’s journey through addiction.

I used to create lots of chaos for me, my family and friends;
had to give up the fight, admit I wasn’t right.
There’s healing in living amends
~ from “The Winning Side” by Barbara Jo Kammer

The singer/songwriter began harmonizing to commercial jingles at the tender age of 2, according to her mother. Dad was a Barbershop singer who harmonized with his young daughter, and introduced Barbara Jo to her first Bluegrass Music with the song, “Mountain Dew.”

With a seasoned band of musicians called the Hippie Buckaroos (Doug Lindsay, Bob Backlund, Norm Strassner, Jeff Becker, and Darryl Thompson) Barbara Jo has become a popular fixture on the acoustic music scene in and around Colorado. The group was named among the Best 10 Cover Bands in Colorado by Westword Magazine in 2016.

“Singing has carried me through my entire life – all through grade school, high school, college, with country, blues, rock, jazz bands, and classical training,” Kammer says. “Now, I work with elders in retirement homes and as band leader for Barbara Jo and The Hippie Buckaroos. I am one grateful singer for sure.”

I woke up today feeling happy
I woke up today feeling glad
I looked in the eyes of my man and sweet doggies
I’m the luckiest girl in the land

~ from “The Winning Side” by Barbara Jo Kammer

One Song at a Time is now available!

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Track List
I Can See Clearly Now
So Good
Hard Promises To Keep
In a Cabin on the Mountain by the Pine
Medicine Wheel
New Shoes
Bluegrass Melodies
Mule Skinner Blues
The Winning Side

The Studio Team
Barbara Jo Kammer – lead vocals
KC Groves – producer
Aaron Youngberg (Swingfingers Studio) – engineer and co-producer
Erin Youngberg – upright bass
Charlie Rose (Elephant Revival) – banjo and pedal steel
Tyler Grant (Grant Farm) – guitar
Jake Simpson (Lil Smokies Band) – fiddle and mandolin
Damon Smith (Haldon Walford and the High Beams Band) – percussion and harmony vocals
Andy Dunnigan (Lil Smokies Band) – dobro
Greg Blake – bluegrass guitar and harmony vocals
Mollie O’Brien – harmony vocals
Sally Van Meter – dobro