Review: Libby DeCamp’s Cross Sections

Multi-instrumentalist folk singer Libby DeCamp (@LibbyDecamp) lays all her cards on the table with her 2016 debut solo EP Cross Sections. Not only displaying talent, DeCamp expressed full creative control in that she wrote all six songs herself. In an industry big on hip-hop, country, and Top 40 pop rock right now, DeCamp’s contribution stands out as it is a dialed back, slower paced record for a country drive or relaxation after a stressful day. Listeners will learn quickly DeCamp poured her heart and soul into the EP as well as notice the craftsmanship and authenticity.

The lead-off track ‘Elroy’ starts off with some amazing bluesy guitar work along with DeCamp’s seductive vocals. It is noticeable right away the Detroit singer-songwriter is inspired by Norah Jones and perhaps Jewel. Although the song sounds peaceful, as evidenced from the lyrics the tune is violent in nature as DeCamp sings, I spit out my teeth, now the blood in the sink is boiling back at me.

On ‘Black Suit Man’, DeCamp provides a song which fits right in with the 1920 and 1930s. It is arranged and performed in such a manner that if one closes their eyes, it will be like being transported back in time to that era hearing this on an old school radio or live at Radio City Music Hall.

Cross Sections’ third song ‘Old Witch’ is the record’s most modern sounding track, worthy of radio play on Alternative and Hot AC stations and will have people hitting the repeat button for sure. It is also tied with ‘Charlie’ for the shortest tune on the album. Speaking of which, ‘Charlie’ is a sad song about a man grieving over the loss of a loved one. The organ and accordion work brilliantly as listeners empathize with the man and try to picture the tragic scene.

‘Put the Kettle On’ slows the pace down a couple of notches and is notable for its drum work and, of course, DeCamp’s sultry voice. It would be right a home on the Soundtrack from George Clooney’s hit film ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’. It could work on modern Country stations as a single with some Patsy Cline influence heard within in. The fifth tune ‘Seattle’ is the EP’s longest and would fit a modern-day romantic drama’s soundtrack like a glove. DeCamp has written and performed songs that cross genres, but Cross Sections does not veer all over the place as she elected to travel in just a couple of lanes on the album.

DeCamp got the chance to perform in Ohio recently with Jack and The Bear and has a couple of shows in her native Michigan coming up this month in Detroit on January 12 and Ann Arbor exactly two weeks later. Starting this past November, physical copies of Cross Sections’ proceeds go toward Sacred Stone Camp which fights against the DAPL. Thus, the EP’s buyers can support two causes: clean drinking water for citizens and pure, unadulterated independent music. DeCamp has created a CD gung-ho folk aficionados will want to add to their collection.

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Americana For The Soul

Country soul singer Brigitte DeMeyer (Twitter: @BrigitteDeMeyer) has been honing her craft of creating soothing cafe music the last several years. On YouTube, there are an abundance of videos showcasing her smooth vocals with sharp yet laid back harmonies. Americana music lovers should embrace the sounds of DeMeyer, who could have hits on the Country and AC charts with the right marketing to radio stations.

For instance, on the bluesy “When I’m Gone”, this is an ideal song that should be part of the soundtrack to the TV series “Nashville”. It is amazing the beautiful music she can make with a backing band consisting of a classical bassist and a fellow acoustic guitarist. This is the type of song one can enjoy walking down the street, wolfing down a latte at your local coffee house, or hanging out with the family dog in the backyard sipping lemonade. DeMeyer’s music is about substance versus style and less theatrics are more effective in letting the music speak for itself.

“Somebody, Please” is another song that has value in telling a story instead of being a song just to make a buck and get a bunch of empty clicks. There is a place where music like DeMeyer’s can thrive and she will ultimately find her groove and make her way up the mainstream pipeline. “The Tonight Show” doesn’t book hip-hop and pop acts every night.

Regarding live events, Brigitte DeMeyer is back in action on Saturday, November 16 in Naples, FL. She has an abundance of live performances recorded online. That will give fans a taste of what they can expect at upcoming gigs. Fans of Jewel, Norah Jones, and Sara Watkins should add DeMeyer to their playlists for more prestigious well-written and beautifully performed tunes that are relaxing and family-friendly.