Willie Sugarcapps

Featuring Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane, Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes.

Way down in lower Alabama, almost every weekend for the past two years, folks have been coming together for a music gathering called The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm. One part house concert, one part Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble, the affair has hosted some of the country’s finest songwriters, pickers, bluesman and troubadours ranging from Mary Gauthier to Alvin Youngblood Hart, Malcolm Holcombe to Randall Bramblett, Sergio Webb to George Porter, Jr. It was here that frequent encounters between reoccurring artists—Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Corky Hughes and the duo Sugarcane Jane featuring Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford—led to the birth of a band, the aptly named Willie Sugarcapps.

At first it was simply songwriter-in-the-round and jam session-styled collaborations, but it quickly grew to become something more. There was chemistry between the five distinct musicians that inspired a repertoire of songs demanding to be documented. They recruited Capps’ longtime partner and Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Trina Shoemaker to record them, which resulted in the self-titled, debut album, Willie Sugarcapps. The collection presents ten impeccably crafted songs imbued by relaxed performances, angelic harmonies and country Zen sentiment. Band members often take turns singing lead as they switch up between fiddle, banjo, mandolin, lap steel, bass and even ukulele.

“Willie Sugarcapps is a homecoming for all of us,” explains Will Kimbrough. “It’s coming full circle back to the beginning of why we do this in the first place and the joy of what happens when you play and sing with people who are alike in spirit and mind.”
Their collective musical experiences mingle together to create a new kind of organic and artisanal music. It’s laid back, it rocks, it comes from classic country, from the blues, from New Orleans and from the best kind of rock ‘n’ roll. It tells a story through five individual voices full of character and experience with humanity, energy and soul. It’s comforting to know that music in the hands of these five artists still happens for no other reason than purely the sake of the music itself.

BRIGITTE DeMeyer is a very discussed artist in the Americana movement. Her work has stirred accolades in national media. She has been tapped to open for Bob Dylan, among others, and has toured frequently at home and abroad. Brigitte DeMeyer writes songs as weavers thread tapestries, her most vivid colors being a Southern feel, a churchy soulfulness in her vocals, and a way with words that bears comparison to literature as easily as to the best contemporary lyrics. For DeMeyer, it is just a matter of time.

With album number six on the horizon for the acclaimed independent singer-songwriter, “Savannah Road” (due out in early 2014), DeMeyer has built a solid foundation with her first five albums, collaborating with giants of the Americana world-world class drummer/producer Brady Blade, Buddy Miller, Sam Bush, and most recently guitarist/songwriter Will Kimbrough, to name a few—and has shown herself to have a wonderfully natural feel for soul-steeped, blues-infused roots music, right down to her supple, peppery singing.

The daughter of Belgian and German immigrants, she was born in the Midwest, and at a young age moved to Southern California with her family, where entirely on her own, she started latching onto rootsy sounds, from Etta James, Mavis Staples and Sly Stone, to her discovery of The Allman Brothers, Steve Earle and Patti Griffin.

Though DeMeyer took to soulful southern-tinged music, and had a gift for it, she early on, acquired a non-musical Bachelor’s degree and pursued Post Baccalaureate studies working in the marketing world to produce a steady income, all the while making music on the side, (even studying with vocal coach Judy Davis, who had been a mainstay instructor for Janis Joplin and Barbara Streisand). “I loved studying with Judy, but I always felt my best lessons were from the folks I listened to and played with, and from the places where I made my mistakes…it all just gives you tools to be better, but you gotta work at it.” says DeMeyer. She ultimately turned the by-the-book plan on its head, taking a brave leap into pursuing music full-time. The roundabout route has served the substance of her songs well. As she puts it, “I had to struggle a little for a while, paying the rent and getting my heart broken a time or two”…but got the experience and insight I needed to be able to write. “

It didn’t take DeMeyer long to find kindred musical spirits. Brady Blade and DeMeyer hit it off after DeMeyer approached him to guest on her 2nd CD, Nothing Comes Free. He signed on to play, and produced the next two, Something After All and Red River Flower, and co-produced DeMeyer’s 5th CD, Rose of Jericho, with DeMeyer, bringing in a small army of masterly players and singers over the years he knew would appreciate what she was doing. Players like Buddy Miller (with whom she’s since shared the stage on more than one occasion), Steve Earle, Ivan Neville, Daniel Lanois, the Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers, the McCrary Sisters and Al Perkins (who invited her to join two European tours). On her 5th CD Rose of Jericho, 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 mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush.

With a 2010 relocation from California to Nashville, DeMeyer has been delving deeper into southern musical territory. Gaining momentum and visibility as a performing artist, and recently has built a strong partnership with guitarist/songwriter Will Kimbrough, with whom she has toured and collaborated since 2010. The songs DeMeyer has been writing, primarily with Kimbrough, are less a mixture of firsthand experience, but more a rich blend of fingerpicking, blues inflection, and literary imagery. Acoustic soul. The songs stem from DeMeyer and Kimbrough’s musical chemistry, and are brought further to life with additional players Brady Blade, keyboardist Jimmy Wallace, guitar/mandolinist Guthrie Trapp, and bassist Chris Donohue. Also featured are friends the McCrary Sisters, and Ricky and Micol Davis of Blue Mother Tupelo, Bassist Michael Rhodes, and Wood Brother’s Jano Rix.

With DeMeyer’s lyrical skill, ease with melody, and expressive vocals, combined with Kimbrough’s mastery of strings, the result is Savannah Road, a spooky and soulful collection of songs, taking the listener to another time and place. Some place long ago. It is sure to stand out in 2014’s musical landscape.

$10.00 - $12.00

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Willie Sugarcapps featuring Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane, Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes with Brigitte DeMeyer

Friday, February 21 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary