WCPO Lounge Acts: Will Kimbrough makes sweet music with Brigitte DeMeyer

Singer-songwriter Will Kimbrough knew he’d found a kindred spirit in singer Brigitte DeMeyer when the pair first matched their voices half a dozen years ago.

They’ve since toured together and collaborated on a number of albums. But January marked the first time they’ve released a joint album with both their names -- the gorgeous, stripped-down acoustic ballad collection Mockingbird Soul.

The Americana treasure is made up of 11 originals and a cover of The Incredible String Band’s “October Song,” which is given an Appalachian makeover by the pair. The two seamlessly entwine their vocals over gently picked acoustic guitar. The honey-sweet track is the perfect example of why these two seemed destined to find each other and make music together.

Through six albums of gospel-tinged, bluesy country, DeMeyer has built a resume as a singer with excellent taste in her collaborators, including such Nashville legends as Buddy Miller and Sam Bush. Her sound is a gumbo of influences, from the church-born blues of Etta James and Mavis Staples, to the southern rock of Steve Earle and one of her biggest touchstones, the Allman Brothers.

California-bred DeMeyer couldn’t fit any better with Alabama-raised guitar slinger Kimbrough, who has logged time with such greats as Emmylou Harris, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell and Jimmy Buffett. A fellow musical polymath, Kimbrough’s sound has been fed by rock, punk, jazz, blues, gospel and country, with a heavy dose of folk. That eclectic resume has landed him onstage with Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle, as well as Gomez, Toumani Diabate, Mark Knopfler and, wouldn’t you know it -- Mavis Staples.

With a 30-year career that began when he hit the club circuit after high school, Kimbrough has seen the full range of music business highs and lows, from an early major label deal for his first band, Will and the Bushmen, to stints on John Prince’s Oh Boy! Records and producing acclaimed albums for Todd Snider. His songs have been recorded by Little Feat and Buffett, making for a long musical resume that also includes a string of eight solo alums since 1999, as well as eight group releases with his projects including DADDY, the bis-quits and Will and the Bushmen.

Both also have another super important thing in common: they’re literature nerds. Kimbrough and DeMeyer lace their songs with literary allusions and thoughtful verses that are the highlight of such Mockingbird Soul, tracks as “Rainy Day” and “Little Easy.”

We’re very excited to have Kimbrough and DeMeyer join us in the WCPO Digital Lounge on Saturday for a performance and chat about Mockingbird Soul and their tour. Make sure you also check out their show at the Southgate House Revival on Saturday night (Apr. 22). 

What: Will Kimbrough & Brigitte DeMeyer

Where: The Southgate House Revival — Revival Room

When:  Sat., April 22; doors 7:30 p.m., show 8 p.m.

Info.: $15-$18 (tickets available here

WCPO Lounge Acts features intimate in-studio performances and interviews from outstanding musical artists.

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