For immediate release
Acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer will release her fifth studio album, Rose of Jericho, on August 30, 2011.
Artists live for those rare moments when everything lines up; when they gather the right songs and the right people in the right place at the right time, and find themselves and their music truly coming alive. Brigitte DeMeyer is experiencing just such a moment. Rose of Jericho is proof.
Although this is album number five for DeMeyer, it also marks a trio of significant firsts: her first time taking the reigns as co-producer; her first time recording in Nashville since she made it her home; and her first time telling her stories of balancing motherhood and music. She’d built a solid foundation with her first four albums, collaborating with giants of the Americana world—world-class drummer and producer Brady Blade especially—and showing herself to have a wonderfully natural feel for country-steeped, blues-infused roots-pop, right down to her supple, peppery singing.
It didn’t take DeMeyer long to find kindred musical spirits, even if it did require a little sleuthing. After watching Blade perform with Emmylou Harris’ band Spyboy, she was determined to track him down. He signed on to play on her second album, Nothing Comes Free, and produced the next two, Something After All and Red River Flower (he also co-produced Rose of Jericho), and brought in a small army of masterly players and singers he knew would appreciate what she was doing, like Buddy Miller (with whom she’s since shared the stage on more than one occasion), Steve Earle, Tony Hall, Ivan Neville, Daniel Lanois, the Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers, Phil Madeira, Chris Donohue, Regina McCrary and Al Perkins (who invited her to join his European tour). On the new album, DeMeyer expanded her impressive stable of collaborators with contributions from full-throated force of nature Mike Farris, guitar gurus Will Kimbrough and Doug Lancio and virtuoso Sam Bush.
All the while, DeMeyer has been delving deeper into southern musical territory. By her fourth album, she was quite literally commuting there from the Bay Area to record. A little over a year ago she took another leap, moving 2,000 miles across the country to Tennessee with her husband and their young son. DeMeyer also landed a publishing deal with Nashville-based Green Hills Music.
But writing anything at all can be a challenge when there’s also a kid around who needs attention. “You have to stop what you’re doing a lot,” she jokes. “It used to be if mommy was distracted by music my son would have nothing of it. Now he wants to join me.” (And he probably will, soon enough. Thanks to Blade, he’s had an adult-sized drum kit since the age of three.) Nowhere does DeMeyer articulate the inner tug of war between artistry and family more eloquently than in her spare, soulful folk song “West Side Mama, South Side Me.” “When I was in California I was mostly mom,” she explains. “When I was in the South, I was me.”
She’s decided that she no longer needs to choose between the two; she’s saying “yes” to it all. You can hear that “yes” in the surefooted New Orleans R&B of the title track, “Rose of Jericho”. “Give that plant a little water,” DeMeyer says, “and it comes back to life. I so relate to that.”
DeMeyer is planning a fall tour around the release of Rose of Jericho.