Thursday, February 18, 2021

Brigitte DeMeyer: “Seeker” (2021) CD Review

On Brigitte DeMeyer’s new release, Seeker, the singer and songwriter collaborates with Jano Rix, who is known for his work with The Wood Brothers. Jano Rix, in addition to co-writing much of the material and playing multiple instruments on these tracks, also produced the album.  His fellow Wood Brothers – Oliver on guitar and backing vocals, and Chris on bass – play on a couple of tracks. Also joining Brigitte DeMeyer on this album are Ted Pecchio on bass, Kris Donegan on guitar, JP Ruggieri on guitar and pedal steel, Victor Krauss on bass, and Alfreda McCrary on backing vocals. So, yeah, there is a whole lot of talent behind this release. The focus, of course, is on Brigitte DeMeyer’s vocals.

The album opens with “All The Blue,” a track that eases in, first establishing a good, kind of haunting groove, with Jano Rix on shuitar, before Brigitte’s vocals come in.  Her approach is intimate, with empathy, as to a friend. “The day gets weary, your eyes are blurry/The sun is always beating you back home.” Before long, this track has worked its way into your soul. I like those touches on pedal steel by JP Ruggieri. Brigitte DeMeyer then completely changes gears with “Cat Man Do,” which – as you might guess from its playful title – is a fun number. It has a seriously cool sound, featuring some great stuff by Kris Donegan on guitar and by Jano Rix on piano. The lyrics mention a “continual strut,” and the sound has that sort of vibe, that sort of style. Freda McCrary (of The McCrary Sisters) joins Brigitte DeMeyer on vocals. “Salt Of The Earth” is one of the tracks to feature Oliver Wood and Chris Wood. Brigitte delivers a soulful vocal performance, and though this track contains the poor “self”/“shelf” rhyme, it is still quite good.

One of my personal favorites on this album is “Louisiana.” I’m drawn to this one right from the start. It features one of the most exciting vocal performances of the album, with soul and passion, a seductive sound. And I love that supporting work on piano. This one has a sort of spontaneous vibe, like we happen to catch these guys in a moment of creation. Certainly one of the album’s highlights. It is followed by “Calamity Gone,” another cool track with a steady rhythm and a firm, determined vocal performance to match that rhythm. Brigitte DeMeyer changes gears again, with “Already In,” a sweet and soulful love song, her voice supported mainly by acoustic guitar. This track’s unadorned production is quite effective, particularly as it draws our attention to her voice and lyrics. “No nevers, no have tos/No need to convince/With a heart that wants you/You’re already in.”

Things then get jazzy with “Ain’t No Mister,” Brigitte DeMeyer changing her vocal approach to fit the material, showing her versatility, and here displaying a good deal of attitude. This track also features some excellent work by Jano Rix on piano. That’s followed by “Wishbone,” which opens with some pretty work on guitar. It then builds from there, becoming a soulful, moving, and gorgeous number, another of my personal favorites. That’s followed by “Seeker,” the album’s title track. In this one she sings, “What I find is I’ve gone blind to where I do belong,” an idea I think most of us have been in touch with at one time or another. This is the other track to feature Chris Wood and Oliver Wood. I particularly love Chris Wood’s work on upright bass. The album concludes with “Roots And Wings And Bones,” another pretty and engaging song. I love this track’s ending.

CD Track List

  1. All The Blue
  2. Cat Man Do
  3. Salt Of The Earth
  4. Louisiana
  5. Calamity Gone
  6. Already In
  7. Ain’t No Mister
  8. Wishbone
  9. Seeker
  10. Roots And Wings And Bones

Seeker is scheduled to be released on March 26, 2021.

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