BILLY Bragg calls her "possibly our best interpreter of Bob Dylan’s songs". The Wall Street Journal has deemed her Dylan reinterpretations on Every Grain Of Sand "the most significant vocal album of the 21st century thus far".

Both are describing Barb Jungr, the 64-year-old Rochdale cabaret singer, songwriter, composer and writer, of Czech and German parentage, whose music-making spans popular music, theatre, cabaret and jazz.

Tonight, Barb presents Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan at Helmsley Arts Centre with her formidable combination of passionate singing, minimal, subtle arrangements and humour at 7.30pm (box office, 01439 771700 or at

Her interpretative repertoire spans Jacques Brel, Nina Simone, Jimmy Webb, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen too, but her Dylan covers have drawn most acclaim, not least from actor Jeremy Irons, who included Barb's version of I Want You in his Desert Island Discs selections on BBC Radio 4, alongside Dylan's own recording of Make You Feel My Love, by the way.

Tonight, Barb will draw on her Dylan material from 2002's Every Grain Of Sand, 2011's Man In The Long Black Coat and 2014's Hard Rain as she plays Helmsley for the first time, accompanied by Jenny Carr . "Though funnily enough I went there on holiday, two Easters ago, after my mum broke her arm at York Minster, and if you're going to break your arm anywhere, it has to be York Minster, as she was looked after by these wonderful people, both there and at York Hospital,." she says.

So, welcome back to Helmsley, Barb, and welcome to yet another Dylan occasion. "The interest doesn't ever abate; I've just done a big podcast for Is it Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan, and I could have gone on for a month," she says. "I'm intimately connected to a web of people who even debate his lyric changes. Someone's just sent me a test pressing of Blood On The Tracks that was never released, and there was then a discussion for two hours about the lyrics he'd later changed and the different band he played with."

Barb saw Dylan in concert at the London Palladium in April last year. "It was absolutely wonderful. I wept for the first 40 minutes as it was so moving," she recalls."He's really singing well, as he's been singing the Great American Songbook and that's forced him to really try to sing again."

Many have covered Dylan's songs, from Manfred Mann and Jimi Hendrix, to Bryan Ferry and Adele, but to do three albums dedicated to him, does that take chutzpah? "It isn't a case of chutzpah," says Barb. "People have been incredibly open and kind about what I do. Some people don't like your voice or what you do, but I believe that if you come at something from a position of caring about the material, then people who like new takes on songs will enjoy it."

Next year, more Dylan songs will feature on Barb's "Bob, Brel And Me" album, along with Brel, Springsteen and Cohen and her own material. Which Bob songs? "Wait for the record," she says.

Charles Hutchinson