Jessica Bristow 11 a.m., April 17
Sound description: Her original tunes on guitar/harp/piano are often compared to those of Joni Mitchell.
RIYL: Joni Mitchell, Jill Sobule, Shawn Colvin, KT Tunstall, Laura Pausini, Leah Andreone
Upcoming Local Shows
- Musician Interview: "I Had a Dream That I Met Jimmy Page" · Sept. 7, 2007
- Blurt: "Robot Talk" · June 2, 2005
- Blurt: "The Only Theater-Friendly Mayor" · March 31, 2005
- Hometown CD Review: "Where Birds Meet in the Rain" · March 17, 2005
- Blurt: "Excites Me Mad" · Jan. 20, 2005
- Blurt: "Peter Fonda is One of My Uncle's Best Friends" · Nov. 24, 2004
Influences: Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Jill Sobule, Maria McKee, Tristan Prettyman, Jewel, Stevie Wonder, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Lady Gaga, Madonna, the Carpenters, Ilse de Lange, Carly Simon, Carole King, James Taylor, John Mayor, Jimmy Page, Duncan Shiek, Ani de Franco, Fiona Apple, Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Nana Mouskouri, Kathleen Battle, John Denver, Blondie
"Peter Fonda is one of my uncle's best friends, so I've known him all my life," says Bridget Brigitte when asked about the photos of her and the famous actor on her website, "and I have the same name as his daughter; it's a Celtic thing. Peter comes down once a year for the parties my mother hosts for her students."
Her mother, Dr. Marianne McDonald, a professor of the classics and of cinema and theater at UCSD (and winner of both the Living Legacy Award and the Egeria Award from the Women's International Center), shows Fonda's Easy Rider to her students and compares the film to the themes of heroics and tragedy in ancient Greek literature.
Brigitte, a singer/songwriter, coordinated the fifth annual GoGirlsMusicFest at Humphrey's in 2004, featuring all-female bands and acts, including locals Rynata the Shredmistress, Abigail's Attic, Carol Ames, and Brigitte.
"So everything went well both nights? No problems?"
She laughs and says, "No catfights, if that's what you mean.... There was a guy who almost got thrown out one night, but he wasn't touching anyone; he was just being loud and verbal. There's always going to be someone who gets drunk and makes trouble at any show."
GoGirlsMusicFest happens in large cities across the country every fall; the proceeds go to MusicCares (www.grammy.com/musiccares), a program established in 1989 by the recording academy to help out musicians who are faced with a sudden medical or personal crisis.
Brigitte performed at the L.A. Music Awards in November 2004, where she was nominated in the category of "Adult Contemporary Independent Artist of the Year" for her CD When Birds Meet in the Rain, released by San Diego's Bionic Sisters Productions. "It's like a mini-Grammys but for indies," she says, "and there's this funny underside to the L.A. Music Awards, which is the models/sexy singers part. I mean, I come to the awards from a fairly organic, music-first kind of attitude, and I show up to find these ex-cheerleaders in low-cut white leather...who are really good singers, don't get me wrong."
As far as winning the award goes, Brigitte reminds that "Minnie Driver is also nominated. And the company she's signed with has something like 30 labels, so, you know..." she says shrugging. "Even David Geffen, whose record company is probably worth a billion dollars, is still considered 'independent.' "
Her debut CD Where Birds Meet in the Rain was recorded by engineers for Jewel and blink 182 (Bionic Sisters Productions). She is a 2003 Call to Arts Creative Vision Song Contest winner, a 2004 LA Music Award nominee, 2005 Women's International Center Spirit Award winner, 2006 Living Legacy Award Honoree, and her music videos are shown in the Payne County Film Festival (TV 33, cable 3) and on Access Central TV (Time Warner). She is a regular TV guest on the Shemm Show (Adelphia, Comcast) and has aired her own Bridget Brigitte TV Special on Cox Cable networks.
Fans of idiosyncratic, folky pop-rock will appreciate the darker lyrical content Bridget Brigitte's musical mix, which includes cello, flute, harp, and percussion. The music carries a conventional, ecstatic pop-rock feel but is curbed by a repenting intensity.
In "The Likes of Jeannie" Brigitte sings, "When you tried them, in the middle of the night, when the inspiration's right and there's only her intrigue/ hoping for the best, planning for the worst/ you're your own best counselor." These lines are emblematic of Brigitte's lyricism: dark, ambiguous, and perhaps a tad too personal. However, this quality defies categorization and catapults Brigitte into a legion of songwriters whose messages surpass empty phrases.
Not everything is hard and heavy. Overall, the disc is a good mix of upbeat rock with a few melancholy ballads thrown in for balance. The arrangements carry the echoes of different artists and styles ranging from folk, rock, blues, and country, all nicely paced. "Abstract" and "Aqua" are entirely instrumental, driven by acoustic guitar and synths. Layered synths create a beautiful interplay between rhythm and melody. Few groups equally utilize keyboards and guitar this effectively.