“Seeker” – Brigitte DeMeyer

4 stars (out of 5)

0

‘Learn something new every day’. Today’s was an absolute beauty; I discovered what a shuitar is. I won’t describe it because its creator, Jano Rix, does that in this piece of video:

Jano Rix is the co-writer for almost all of this album and plays percussion (including shuitar) and keyboards (including a bit of mellotron). However, the name on the sleeve, the voice (and what a voice it is) and the lived experience are very much Brigitte DeMeyer’s. There’s a little piece of pure invention here, but most of the songs are personal, whether that’s personal stories or personal viewpoints. The title’s appropriate, not just because of the song of that name but because there’s a strand of longing and melancholy running through its ten songs; longing for friends, longing for family, longing for truth and longing for familiar places.

But let’s start with the untypically humorous song because it links in neatly to the rest of the album. “Cat Man Do” has a loose jazz feel and a central character that could be the son (or grandson) of the Chuck E featured on Rickie Lee Jones’ first (and best-selling) single, “Chuck E’s in Love”. The song’s similar in style to the autobiographical “Ain’t No Mister” which also features a central character in the same mould as Chuck E; that’s jazzers for you. It’s difficult not to draw parallels between the vocal styles of Brigitte and Rickie Lee Jones; they can both sing with the delicacy of angels and produce a 4-packs-a-day growl when it’s needed.

The title song sounds like seventies Laurel Canyon, which is appropriate in a song about moving back to California and searching for truth, love and a friend or two. “Roots and Wings and Bones”, which follows “Seeker”, and closes the album, is a love song for Brigitte’s son, which might contain a little musical reference to “Bohemian Rhapsody” (or my imagination might be working overtime). The trilogy of very different love songs is completed by “Already In” for Brigitte’s husband and “Louisiana” (with a reference to the classic “Georgia On My Mind”) is about loving and missing New Orleans with an appropriate Big Easy arrangement and a few nods in the direction of Allen Toussaint.

It’s almost obligatory on an Americana album these days to have a political view or two; it’s a natural reaction to four turbulent years. The album’s laid-back opening song “All of the Blue” sings the praises of under-valued cowboys, while the bright honky-tonk of “Calamity Gone” skewers the politicians trying to claim spurious solidarity with working people. Yep, we know who they are and we have them in the UK as well; and I don’t see any swamps being drained on either side of the pond just yet.

“Seeker” is a fine piece of work. There’s plenty going on musically to keep the listener’s interest but it’s Brigitte’s highly personal lyrics that make the album a spiritual experience and privileged window into her life. And she also knows when to inject a bit of fun as well.

“Seeker” is released in the UK on Friday March 26th on BDM Records.

As a bonus, here’s a video shot for Bob Harris’s ‘Under the Apple Tree’ when Brigitte toured the UK with Will Kimbrough and Dean Owens in March 2017:

Update 02/03/21 – We’ve just discovered a video for the wonderful “Louisiana”:

Comments are closed.