Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer Hang Out in Portland and Seattle Feb 4-6, 2015

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer at Doug Fir Lounge, Portland

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer at Doug Fir Lounge, Portland

I’m tired. It’s Deja Vu all over again. Didn’t we just do this last year?  Will Kimbrough brought Brigitte DeMeyer along to The Northwest this time to promote her new album, Savannah Road. Will and Brigitte collaborated on this soulful collection of 13 songs. Will’s backing vocals and harmonies blend so well with her sultry voice.

The week before, they toured California with other gigs scheduled in Oregon and Washington; a cancellation sent them home to Nashville for a few days before resuming their tour in Portland and Seattle. Pat and I were tasked with driving them back up to Seattle after their Portland gig at The Doug Fir Lounge. Of course, when I say “task”, I mean it was truly our pleasure to transport our musical heroes around Portland and Seattle.

Brigitte DeMeyer

Brigitte DeMeyer

The audience at Doug Fir was supportive and enthusiastic. We were thankful that quite a few people showed up on this Wednesday night; the show didn’t start until 9:00.

Unfortunately, Brigitte caught a bug on her way over from Nashville and started to lose her voice. She sang a few beautiful songs from Savannah Road and Rose of Jericho, but yielded to Will to finish out the show. They usually take turns showcasing their own music and playing duets.

Will Kimbrough

Will Kimbrough

Will’s setlist included songs from Sideshow Love and Willie Sugarcapps as well as songs from older albums (not in order–I wanted to sit back and enjoy the show this time around and not scribble in my journal):

Sideshow Love / Mr. Lee / Mud Bottom / Trouble / Let The Big World Spin / I Want Too Much / Diamond in A Garbage Can / Goodnight Moon / Godsend / Another Train / Wash and Fold / Horseshoe Lake / Piece of Work

I’m sure there are some I missed, but that gives an idea of the liveliness of the set.

The next morning, we packed up the truck with gear and the five of us, including our friend Lori (whose birthday party Will played last year).  We headed to Bellevue, Washington.  They were scheduled to appear on a radio show 3:00 at Bellevue College.  Traffic and a slow draw bridge increased our drive time by about a half hour.  We barely made it, but the program directors quickly got them ready for broadcasting.  Check out the audio here, about 26:40 min into the broadcast. http://kbcsweb.bellevuecollege.edu/playlist/player/?code=201502051500&hidesel=true

Will and Brigitte at KBCS Radio, Bellevue College

Will and Brigitte at KBCS Radio, Bellevue College

I am so impressed by the way they both can just go with the flow in these crazy, stressful situations. The whole trip seemed down to the minute everywhere we went. Will and Brigitte just sat right down, plugged in and started the show. Amazing. When they warmed up with a quick sound check, Will belted out “Trouble” and I watched the radio crew’s faces light up and their jaws drop to the floor.  Yeah. We know.

Will was on point and played comic relief to Brigitte, whose voice was now a whisper.  She spoke a little about her new album and let Will lead with three songs: Trouble, (Willie Sugarcapps), Mud Bottom (Willie Sugarcapps) and Emotion Sickness (Sideshow Love). They were going to end the show there, but had a little more time. Brigitte helped him as he read lyrics off his phone for Mud and Moss, his Birthday song for Lori last year. We had a blast watching them and trying to keep from laughing aloud in the studio’s living room (it was located in a small house). Ethan Anderson from Massy Ferguson is also an instructor at the college. He joined us briefly, but had to get back to class. We were happy he showed up to support this fantastic duo.

We then headed out across I-90 to Seattle where, after a snafu at the Hilton with reservations, we had about 15 minutes to stuff Will and Brigitte into a taxi and get them to the Royal Room in Columbia City for sound check. We finished getting ready while we waited for another friend, Kenny, to join us. We took Uber in to the Royal Room and were pleased to walk in and see lots of people we knew and a full dining room.

Will and Brigitte at The Royal Room - Columbia City (Seattle)

Will and Brigitte at The Royal Room – Columbia City (Seattle)

Brigitte allowed Will to run the show this night, as she needed to rest her voice. She did join him for a few songs and backed with her guitar and sang for a few minutes.

Will was the funny man tonight and kept us entertained with stories about his dad, growing up a Democrat in Alabama (he and his friends who moved away are lovingly referred to as escapees) and other anecdotes from his full and fascinating life.

Will

Will

But the music was foremost, and once again he blew us away. He uses a little Regal guitar from the 1930’s, which is small enough to take with him on the plane. He made that thing sing, and he raked over the frets with his copper slide to whoops and applause from the crowd.

Brigitte accompanying Will as he flies into a solo

Brigitte accompanying Will as he flies into a solo

Besides playing tunes from Willie Sugarcapps and Sideshow Love as he did the previous night, Will dove deep into his prolific catalog and tested some new songs for a future record:

Philadelphia, MS / Diamond in a Garbage Can / Goodnight Moon / Godsend / Horseshoe Lake / Glory Be / Big Sister / I Don’t Like It / Star / another about his dad called I Hear Your Voice, and an improvised Gotta Pee song for Lori and Kenny when they stepped out for a few minutes. He also made another attempt at a few verses of Mud and Moss which cracked everyone up. Here are the original lyrics to the version he played in Bellingham last year:

Lyrics for "Mud and Moss" written that afternoon!

Lyrics for “Mud and Moss” written that afternoon!

Will at Royal Room

Will at Royal Room

Will played for almost three hours to an elated audience.  It was the best show I’ve ever seen him play.

We were honored to be a part of this short tour.  Now, it’s time to rest and recover before heading out to another show.

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February 7, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. Sounds like a fine night.

    Comment by Paul Kerr | February 7, 2015 | Reply

    • I’d never make it as a roadie full-time, Paul! I’m exhausted. And I didn’t have to fly home the next day!

      Comment by aplscruf | February 7, 2015 | Reply

  2. Sounds like you had a great time despite the exhaustion factor. 🙂

    Comment by Fannie Cranium | February 8, 2015 | Reply

    • I think the best part was watching the astonished look on people’s faces who had never seen him play before. We had some friends at the Royal Room who were just blown away. Also, the radio show producers’ faces were priceless when Will belted out “Trouble” just as a warm-up. It was an honor to be a part of the tour.

      Comment by aplscruf | February 9, 2015 | Reply

      • That is so cool! I’m glad you had fun. 🙂

        Comment by Fannie Cranium | February 9, 2015


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