THE SUNNY SIDE
"Make a duo album!" Brigid and Steve have played music together in various incarnations for years (sometimes both as sidemen in other people's bands -- sometimes as background bluegrass musicians -- sometimes showing up on the same recording session unexpectedly), so it was finally time for them to record a duo album reflective of what they sound like when they are actually on the road playing music together.
The Sunny Side is a 9-song album that combines some of Brigid's sassy original music with some of country music's oldest songs and tunes, with the fine addition of an original jig collection by Steve Cooley. Inspired by their time playing in bluegrass and celtic bands, as well as their tours with bigger acts, The Sunny Side, is upbeat but not over-the-top, and shows off Cooley's amazing string talents and Brigid's soulful accordion and gentle piano work. A cover of "Slow French Waltz," by the late Scottish singer Nick Keir is particularly poignant. Keir recorded one of Brigid's most popular songs "Ballad of Motorcycle Joe" ten years ago, which led to her getting airplay on the BBC and beginning her tradition of touring folk clubs and festivals throughout the United Kingdom at least once a year.
The first single, "Movies Cost a Dime," is out on streaming sites on Friday April 5, but the rest of the album will be only available at their live shows in Scotland and England, from April 11-21, 2019.
"Two of Louisville’s finest musicians ... have delivered a catchy new tune and video to accompany it." -WFPK Radio
Those Who Drift Away
Following the success of her first two studio albums, Kaelin spent several years playing all over America and Europe, living in Scotland, playing as a sideman in other bands, writing, having two babies, oversharing on her blog “The Red Accordion Diaries” and balancing musician-life with motherhood. Those Who Drift Away is the culmination of this balance — a studio record with optimism, sass, and the hint of irreverence that her audience loves.
Engineered on Steve Cooley’s houseboat on the Ohio River — the vocals recorded literally the day before her second son was born — Those Who Drift Away features Kaelin’s trademark accordion, piano, and musical saw, but also shows off Grammy-nominated Steve Cooley’s incredible picking power from banjo to bass. Award winners Aaron Bibelhauser and Michael Cleveland lend steel guitar and fiddle, rounding out a more old-time country vibe than Kaelin’s previous recordings.
Musically, Kaelin remains a little alt-country and a little vaudeville, with the mysterious banjo/accordion/musical saw number “The Jester,” a song inspired by her first time sharing the stage with her keyboard-idol, Steve Nieve (with Elvis Costello & the Imposters). She also offers up some straightforward bluesy-rock with “Louisville,” a love-song to her hometown. As she sings in that song, “those who drift away always come back home someday,” — and that’s exactly what Kaelin has done with this strong return to the Louisville music scene.
From Kyle Meredith, "The Speed of Sound" podcast and Music Director, WFPK.:
The music of Brigid Kaelin is the very definition of Americana. With a deep root in the stylings of Kitty Wells & Ernest Tubb, there are lyrics of love and relationships that never play by the rules, slide guitar and an acoustic strum that move enough to make you forget that it's probably a sad song, and lots of bourbon. She's keeping a tradition alive, but the stories are all in the present, a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and at the end of the day, we're all probably going to screw this up so bad that we might as well have fun doing it.