Beeman, Bannon & Parrott

time machine music

B&N Cafe

Artist:  Beeman, Bannon & Parrot

Album:  Plenty of Time

 Review by Bobby Jo Valentine


Beeman, Bannon & Parrot’s newest musical offering, Plenty of Time, features plenty of swing, vaudeville, and Broadway class.  Although the volume is a little high and the mix will have some listeners squinting, the album is full of charm and warmth, and there are several songs with value.


“You Got to See Momma Ev’ry Nite” is a wonderful rendition of a classic, and Barbara Beeman gives a fantastic vocal performance. While the music tends to go on a little long, the performance is solid, and the additions of a saxophone and various musical instruments jumping in adds to the color of the song and gives the listener a true vaudeville feel.  Following is “Bird on the Street,” a songwriting effort by the group that is a little slow but good intentioned.


A beautiful version of “La Vie En Rose” is next, and the listener really gets to see Barbara’s talent. Broadway in its dynamic and very sweet in its delivery, this is definitely one of the best tracks of the album. The accordion, when it jumps in, couldn’t have been placed better, and as the last note fades, the listener will remember this for a long time.  “Why Don’t You Do Right” is a sensual, attitude-filled, bluesy song about a girl wishing her man would do right.


The intro is beautiful on “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” but unfortunately the vocal delivery struggles a little bit and has some over-dramatic parts. The whistling intro on “Plenty of Time” is charming, bouncy and a lot of fun. Easily the best track of the album, it flows wonderfully, and has a fantastic duet with John and Barbara crooning through the playful lyrics. The whole thing feels like it came straight out of the 20’s, with a wonderful saxophone solo in the middle. The album takes a thoughtful turn on “The Ways of Man,” and there are some great lines in this song, and John really shows his songwriting ability on the chorus. 


The album flows well and finishes strong with “When You Wish Upon A Star,” a sweet, smooth, jazzy version of the Disney Classic, and is a great example of what is wonderful about the album. The listener will have heard many of these songs before, but the personal touch that Barbara is able to give with her vocals is very sweet and refreshing. Although there are several moments that go on a bit too long, and a few struggles with the audio mix, Plenty of Time is still a beautiful album about a time and a music long, long ago.


Review by Bobby Jo Valentine


Rating 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Zeitgeist is the Right Geist—Let Us Now Praise Famous Songs

Think black and white movies, shimmering, glossy couples dancing the tango. 
“Plenty of Time” by Beeman, Bannon and Parrott is a 21st Century 
re-imagining of the 1920s with a kaleidoscopic time machine. Jazz Manouche, 
Gypsy Jazz, lonesome boxcar riders, the 60s folk renaissance plus upscale 
hippie symphonies play as sweet in the ears of a low-down barroom habitué as 
to a Park Avenue debutante. Who might swap the dream of an imagined 
yesterday for the reality dished out on the 11:00 o’clock news? Barbara 
Beeman, that’s who. The music defines her as she defines it, breathing new 
life into hot jazz and torch song threnodies.
Nostalgia travels far and lingers long, like a castoff lover’s dream of a 
girl seen once in a magazine. You might want to check out the photography 
books of Dorothy Lange, Lewis Hine, WPA Post Office murals and run the main 
title montage from The Sopranos to get in the mood. Play the music. Here are 
snapshots of an era that never ended, reconstructions of the 20th Century 
zeitgeist by a crew of dedicated admirers.
Journeyman troubadours John Parrott, Richard Thompson and Si Kahn are 
represented here: a song authored by Richard (“The Great Valerio,” La Strada 
in a nutshell); one by Si (Aragon Mill); and three by John Parrott, who 
produced and mixed the effort. And he sings basso on the title tune, “Plenty 
of Time,” one of his. Hank Williams is represented (“I’m So Lonesome I Could 
Cry”) as well as Walt Disney: “When You Wish upon a Star.” There’s a 
European accordion counterpoint on “La Vie En Rose,” Beeman’s Piaf tribute, 
and lots of fine down-tempo dual guitar work.

Rob Hunter

Pembroke, Maine

May 2011


My favorite form of musical entertainment is cabaret. It’s so intimate. At a cabaret one sits close enough to the performer to see at times the sweat on his brow or the runs in her hose. At any rate, these days “come to the cabaret” requires taking out a second mortgage. Generally, admission includes a music charge, a dinner minimum, and a seating fee. But here’s a scoop for those of us lucky enough to be living in Bayonne. At Networking Café on Broadway and 19th Street, the place is occasionally transformed into an enjoyable cabaret for the price of a cup of coffee or tea (and the tea is my favorite, Tazo). In addition, parking is easily available. On my last visit, the Marcus family from Maryland joined us to attend the launching of a new CD by Barbara Beeman (vocals), Bill Bannon (guitar), John Parrott (vocals, guitar, bass), and Franklin Byers (bass). The Networking Café was comfortably packed with an amiable, happy, friendly crowd. Many seemed to be friends and supporters of the Beeman, Bannon & Parrot Band (count me in, too). It was a happy group that came together to enjoy the band’s music on a Saturday night. I’m especially partial to the singing of Barbara Beeman much as I enjoy the singing of the late Blossom Dearie. Oh, yes, the new CD is titled “Plenty of Time” and includes four additional musicians. Barbara does an especially great vocal on “You Got To See Momma Every Nite.” Two other favorite songs of mine are included in the CD: “Why Don’t You Do Right?” and “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You.” The host of the Networking Café is a very genial David Jiji. I inquired and was told that the Beeman, Bannon & Parrot Band’s next appearance there will be May 21. I’m putting it on my calendar. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

Read more:Hudson Reporter - In Tune With June - May 4, 2011


Folk jazz trio

The name of the act sounds like a law firm, but really, they’re an ambitious folk-jazz trio with a repertoire that stretches way back to the first decades of the 20th century.

“Plenty of Time,” the debut CD by Beeman, Bannon & Parrott, opens with a song associated with Mae West, and closes with a sweet reading of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” In between, the trio — augmented by a bassist, a trumpeter and an accordionist — interpret Hank Williams, Richard Thompson and the wistful labor-movement standard “Aragon Mill.” They also play wistful originals that do not suffer much by comparison with the world-famous material elsewhere on the disc. Principal vocalist Barbara Beeman is an engaging character actress on the mic: She can be fragile, firm or downright funny. Tonight, the three musicians will make their return to a Hudson County venue with plenty of community spirit. Appearing at the Networking Café, 418 Broadway, Bayonne, 7:30 p.m; free show. Call (201) 437-1777 or visit

—Tris McCall