Brigitte DeMeyer/Seeker/EDM/Spinach Pitts Music
Three and a half out of Five Stars
When you’re an accomplished singer and songwriter like Brigitte DeMeyer, inspiration seems to come quite naturally. With Seeker, her enticing new album, DeMeyer might have found her muse due to a variety of situations, some of them tangled and troubling. A move back to California from Nashville, the place where she had invested a significant portion of her life and career, left her at loose ends. Added to that a terrible family tragedy that claimed the lives of her cousin and his daughter in a freak accident in Hawaii, her own bout with pneumonia, an equestrian mishap, and the toll taken by a cross country commute to work with her longtime collaborator Will Kimbrough, created challenges that had to be overcome to ensure her craft and creativity would be at peak performance.
It could certainly have been a challenge. And yet, while the backstory might otherwise suggest that her new songs would be anything but optimistic, DeMeyer seems undeterred. The blues-imbued protest tune “Calamity Gone,” the slow sprawl given “Louisiana,” the lithe yet ultimately uplifting “Wishbone,” and the soulful stride taken on “Salt of the Earth” suggest that DeMeyer managed to shake off her concerns and opt instead for more positive inspiration.
That’s not to say they’re absent altogether. Opening track “All the Blue” shares the struggles of a hardworking friend and offers a description of what life can be like when there are enormous odds that need to be overcome. The gently swaying title track alludes to the initial loneliness DeMeyer dealt with after finding herself distanced from the friends and colleagues she left in Nashville. “Roots and Wings” finds her singing about the sacrifices that are made to ensure a family’s welfare. And yet, while there’s no denying a certain bittersweet feel, there’s also a sense of optimism that’s imbedded in the album overall.
Part of the reason that DeMeyer sounds so assured likely has something to do with the fact that she’s kept her connection with Jano Rix, the producer with whom she’s worked together in the past. In addition, she has an able group of contributors that includes Chris and Oliver Wood (on bass and guitars, respectively), singer Alfreda McCrary of the McCrary Sisters and bassist Viktor Krauss that freely share their talents as well. The results make this an admirable effort, one filtered through lessons that are both learned and endured.