Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough – Mockingbird Soul

Album Review | BDM Music | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

It’s easy to picture Brigitte DeMeyer perched upon a high stool, her arm resting almost lifelessly on the bar, a glass tumbler twisting back and forth between her arched finger and thumb, the bourbon almost done, as the singer’s smoky voice infiltrates the joint. Then there’s the heels of Will Kimbrough’s boots resting upon the end of the bar, one leg over the other, as the guitar player reclines just enough as to avoid falling backwards. This is the picture that accompanies the New Orleans-influenced song “The Juke”, one of a dozen songs on the duo’s latest album release Mockingbord Soul, a picture of smoke-filled juke joints, nighthawks and barflies, the Rock-Ola awaiting a spare nickel. The Nashville-based duo have been making songs together for six years and have in that time honed their craft with delicious vocal harmonies, seasoned playing and a penchant for writing evocative songs. It’s Nashville Soul, delivered here on their first album as a duo. That the duo hail from different parts of the country, Brigitte from California and Will from Alabama, makes it all the more evident that their pooled resources, influences and inspirations melt into something new, vibrant and at the same time utterly beguiling. Whether it’s the informed finger-picking on such songs as “Running Round” and “Broken Fences” or the more jazz-inflected “Honey Bee” or the bluesy title song, the material is consistently handled with confidence and style. Then, as if all the surprises appear to have been delivered, the album closes with an unexpected gem, Robin Williamson’s “October Song”, which appears to have found itself a million miles away from the Edinburgh folk cellars of the mid-sixties, yet once again the song captivates in its beautiful simplicity.