Mockingbird Soul by Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough is a long overdue delight bringing together superb songwriting and their love for roots, folk, blues and soul/gospel against a Southern groove.
I wondered when to wrap up the review and not listen to the record one more time. The term ‘a grower’ fits perfectly. Each listen makes you nestle more comfortably into the honeyed tones of Brigitte DeMeyer’s voice and not least appreciate another piece of fine musicianship from Will Kimbrough.
For these two artists then this is their first joint release despite working together for some years. De Meyer has six earlier solo albums whereas Kimbrough has seven but he is probably better known for his collaborations with Americana’s aristocracy.
Populated with sparse arrangements that feature mainly acoustic guitar and bass (Chris Wood and Chis Donohue) then vocals, which coo, seduce, swoop and harmonize accompany 12 compositions that encompass all the elements that make up Americana.
DeMeyer slips between genres and her languid, smokey blues phrasing gets a work out on The Juke, a song that you can imagine being played live to a throbbing room with sweating walls. Kimbrough gets to take an occasional lead vocal rather than just add harmonies and Runnin’ Round and I Can Hear Your Voice are his opportunities, with deft acoustic guitar solos against a walking bass in the background. Mockingbird Soul is the standout with a sparse and slow chunky electric guitar rhythm calling the shots whilst DeMeyer delivers her measured and delicate tour de force vocal. Some levity is found on a jazzy Honey Bee with its signature guitar riff and the 1920’s lascivious lyrical undertones.
Beautifully crafted and a gift that keeps giving.