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Brigitte DeMeyer
Red River Flower

Review By Steven Stone
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  Brigitte DeMeyer is a member of an elite group of performers –white (blond even) women who truly sing with soul.  Although beautiful women with weak vocals are all too often packaged as singers, this pretty woman is actually good at what she does. One listen to her CD, Red River Flower, will convince even the most misogynistic critic of DeMeyer's undeniable musical talent.

Brigitte DeMeyer first burst upon the national music scene in 2001 with her release, Another Thousand Miles. It was quickly followed in 2002 by Nothing Comes Free. Her third release, 2005's Something After All, garnered a ton of positive critical acclaim. I wrote that the "album combines the organic edge of Emmylou Harris' Spyboy with the ethereal lyricism of Wendy MaHarry." And went on to say that her "original material has just the right amount of backbone and beauty." After over three years of heavy rotation in my iTunes I was happy to see her new release Red River Flower arrive on my desk. Its contents don't disappoint.

Twelve of the thirteen songs on Red River Flower are DeMeyer originals. Phil Madeira, who plays keyboards on the album, penned the one exception. Her songs draw from a wide-ranging and eclectic musical palette. Some, like the opening tune " Looking For Moses," display an R&B and gospel influence. Others, including "Without You," demonstrate her rockabilly flair. The slow ballad, "Bird," resonates with the bluesy old time country feeling of Loretta Lynn or Rosanne Cash.

If forced to define exactly what kind of music DeMeyer creates I'd call it "blue-eyed country soul." She uses more blued notes and R&B inflections than any country or folk singer I've heard recently. Demeyer's strong lead vocals have a wonderful fluidity. Her strong flexible voice can effortlessly bend notes with honey-coated creativity.

Produced by Brady Blade, who also produced Demeyer's last album, Red River Flower has fewer cameos from "big name" musicians with the exception of Buddy Miller who plays guitar and sings back-up on two tunes. Most of the performances feature a core band of Blade on drums, percussion and guitar, Chris Donahue on bass, Al Perkins on pedal steel and dobro, and Mike Henderson on guitars. The arrangements lean toward the spare side so Demeyer's vocals and the raw strength of her songs can shine through. I'm positive that after one listen you'll find her music as compelling and addictive as I do.

 

 

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