Critically acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Brigitte London is known for her powerful voice, direct songwriting that is filled with colorful imagery, and her "take no prisoners" stage presence. Upon her arrival in the Austin, Texas music scene in 1997, London immediately established herself with her reputation for playing with only the "best of the best," citing many local legends as band members. She relocated to Nashville in 2005, and continues making waves and making great music. With five indie albums and collaborations with artists across the globe, London makes her music, her way....reaching audiences worldwide. Ever the roaming gypsy, London has found her way to Tucson, AZ making a new home in the west.
At first listen to Brigitte London's latest release, THUNDER, one instantly
is captivated by the aliveness of it. Her vocals are clear, direct and utterly beautiful and her songwriting has elevated to the point of mastery. Backed by her new- found friends (former Waylon Jennings band members) Richie Albright, Fred Newell, Bee Spears as well as dynamic background vocalists Diana DeWitt and John Wesley Ryles, London has created a record that combines everything that was great about the seventies hippie country movement (ala Gram Parsons), with the vocal power of Linda Rondstadt, and made it new again.
Although the arrangements and production suggest retro, this record is fresh-that's the only word for it. All songs solely penned (with the exception of a Shaver/Jennings cover) depict a depth and emotional maturity that only comes from digging into the heart of one's journey and surviving depite it.
London has said,"I write what I feel. There are all kinds of writers, that is the kind I am. If you want to know where I've been and where I am going, my songs tell it better than any publicity bio ever could." There is no doubt this is the truth in listening to any of her recordings. It is evident her decade in Texas influenced much of her sound, and she attracted musical elite even in her beginnings.
Her first Texas release,( a traditional country record Modern Day Mae West- 2001) found her sharing space with Lonestar Legend Dale Watson, Earl Poole Ball (Johnny Cash pianist/producer for twenty-five years & producer of Flying Burrito Brothers), Haggard guitar icon Redd Volkaert, among others. The record was ballsy, even if Producer Pete Mitchell (Ernest Tubb) seemed unsure how to get the best out of her vocally. Her second Texas release, Untraveled Road 2002, seemed to carry a quiet desperation and not quite capture London's magic that is so strong in her live performances.
Her third, Like A Phoenix, was self-produced and recorded after relocating to Nashville, and received critical praise for its genre-blending collection of originals. This was a turning point for London, as she met up with her long time heroes, former Waylors Richie Albright, Bee Spears and Fred Newell for the bonus track "You Ask Me To," the Jennings/Shaver cover that is included also on THUNDER.
This connection seemed to burst forth a creativity and confidence that resulted in a transcendence of skill. Many have written that their major complaint of London's records is that they never seem to match her live energy. With THUNDER, she has accomplished that in a big way. Especially on "Saddle Mountain," where she tells of dark childhood beginnings while seeming to find peace somehow along the way.
Albright's kick drum ignites a rock and roll energy to this autobiographical country tale, and provides a solid foundation throughout the entire album. Every song, including a symphonic resonance on the title track, takes the listener on a journey to somewhere new and unexpected. With cuts like "Song of a Woman," "Hard Woman," and "Strong Enough To Say Good-bye," the CD is a gratifying collection of excellent songs. Period.
London has always remained Independent. With her recent endeavors including the "Spirit of the Outlaws" show in Nashville, it is obvious she doesn't want or need the approval of Country Radio. THUNDER is a career-making record. Perhaps it will give her the big break Corporate Country can't give her. And I have a feeling that is exactly the way she wants it.
Live dates at www.brigittelondon.com and myspace.com/brigittelondon
Waylon Jennings, The Band, Loretta Lynn, Linda Rondstadt, Kris Kristofferson, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, Bruce Springsteen, Patsy Cline, Allison Moorer.
A song can change the world.