Won't Be a Secret Long
When you meet a musician early in his or her career the urge to brag can sometimes be overwhelming; other times the urge can be never to admit you saw that person. As it happens, I was in the Air Devils Inn, chatting with Brigid Kaelin's folks when her husband came in with the first copies of his wife's first CD, one of which I promptly `liberated' as a media type. I should note that while I've known Brigid for two or three years or so and worked with her on some television (she's a videographer, too), I had actually only heard her play keyboards a couple of times, in a less-than-splendid circumstance, and sing maybe once, somewhere, so I grabbed the CD as a friend in a bar getting a `local' recording. The cynical side of me murmured inaudibly off in a corner of my brain: I've listened to a lot of locally produced recordings and some 10,000 demos from songwriters (really). To paraphrase the late SF writer Ted Sturgeon, 98 percent of everything is crap and knowing that, so I waited a little before tossing the disc on the player, because, frankly, I was afraid I'd be disappointed and I like Brigid too much for that.
I am not disappointed. Not only can she play the piano splendidly (lots of lessons plus talent) as well as play the accordion and sing in a most current angelic way, the woman can write songs. Ten songs, actually, on this disc and they span a range of styles, musically and lyrically, including a stand-out little swing tune, "Future Mr. Used-to-Be."
As this month's LMN cover story notes, Kaelin rounded up a significant chunk of the Louisville songwriter and A-list players to play on this recording, including Tim Krekel, danny flanigan, Jimmy Brown, Nick Reifsteck, John Mann, Ben Andrews, Peter Searcy and more. With a range of players like, it as only natural that there would be any number of interesting musical quotes, which adds another layer to listening to this disc. Nate Thumas produced.
Most of songs are riffs on love in the twenties, naturally from the point of view of an intelligent and free-spirited woman, including , "I Want You All, "a tune that evokes another one from Joan Osborne.
"Whiskey in the Faucet" is a play on a couple of Irish folk titles, "Whiskey Before Breakfast" and "Whiskey in the Jar," only this is one about awakening to find Maker's Mark on tap in the bathroom. Mick Sullivan handles the banjo duties.
The title tune (actually named "Secrets") is a wise piece of advice to a lover: "you just keep your secrets, I'll hold on to mine."
My only complaints: I'd liked to have had the lyrics, plus track-by-track musician credits, which I suspect was a just financial decision: four-color printing is costly. Also, I would liked to have the vocal a little more upfront in the mix but that's just my preference.
I'm sure I'll have more comments after I listen longer but one thing I can surely say: this one is a definite winner, sure to get airplay on WFPK, plus, we would hope lots of other AAA stations. I'd suggest you go out and hear her somewhere, so you, too, can say "I knew her when."