Red River Flower, Brigitte DeMeyer’s fourth disc, is a well-played, well-sung country album. If this sounds like damningly faint praise, it is: there’s nothing here that even the slightest country listener hasn’t heard many times before, and the album is a bit too inoffensive to be taken very seriously. There is something to be said, of course, for working inside of a musical tradition, but Red River Flower comes off more like jumble of influences than of a complete work in and of itself.
But I don’t want to come down too hard on DeMeyer, because she satisfies her aims (such as they are) nicely. Red River Flower is tightly and immaculately performed; the backup band certainly earns its keep, and the instrumentation throughout is impressively varied. DeMeyer’s voice is beautiful, and functions as the main musical anchor here. And while most of the tracks pass without much impact, two songs—album opener “Looking for Moses” and “Shepard”—come together so perfectly that they rise above the rest of the album, and show what DeMeyer is really capable of when she puts her mind to it.