Brigitte DeMeyer Explains How Gregg Allman Inspired 'Savannah Road'

Brigitte DeMeyer

Brigitte DeMeyer thought she had something special when she released her current album, Savannah Road, but the Americana-inspired artist tells Billboard she was not prepared for the attention the album has received from critics and fans alike -- not to mention one legendary fellow artist.

"It's been blowing me away. It's the first record that I have ever produced, and the reviews have been amazing. We even got an offer to open for Gregg Allman, who inspired the title track," she recalls. "I met him at a book signing a couple of years ago. I was taken in by the things that happened in his life and inspired him. He talked about his love for Georgia. I then began to discover it for myself. He inspired this song, and we ended up sending the music to his management, and he gave me an opening slot in the hometown where I grew up.

"At the end of the set, he was standing there listening to me. He said, 'You have a beautiful voice, Brigitte.' If that isn't the shit, I don't know what is," she says with a laugh.

DeMeyer says the album is also getting attention overseas, especially in the U.K. In the States, the record has received exposure on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country channel. "Buddy Miller is spinning it on his show. He's going to use one of the songs on Nashville," she says with more than a little twinge of excitement, adding that you never know what kind of response your music will get until it's out there.

"You always hope for the best. My hopes are always high, and my expectations are reasonable. Things have far exceeded my hopes. We've got lots of gigs coming up, and we're going over to Europe in the fall. It's all been so great, so rewarding. For all of that stuff to happen out of the gate has been pretty badass. It all has to do with doing it my own way, and having great chemistry with Will Kimbrough and all the other musicians."

DeMeyer tells Billboard that the synergy she feels with her band is very important, as well as those who guest on her album -- such as Nashville's highly respected the McCrary Sisters. "They call me 'Brigitte McCrary,'" she says proudly. "They are really my sisters. It was a no-brainer for them to show up."

A California native, DeMeyer admits she's found a great deal of southern inspiration thanks to Allman's encouragement. "There's a vibe here that I've discovered. I started reading his book, and that led me to search on the Internet and look at old photos of [Georgia]. In my mind, I created this vibe-y, spooky, romantic place based on reading the book. I can't say anything factual because I haven't been down there. Just from reading, your imagination takes you to many places. That's where I got my inspiration. It just felt like an old and southern place to be, like Gone With The Wind."

Brigitte DeMeyer Tour Dates

Aug. 1 – Birmingham, AL
Aug. 6 – New York, NY
Aug. 20 – Evanston, IL
Aug. 21 – Milwaukee, WI
Aug. 22 – Des Moines, IA
Aug. 23 – Cedar Rapids, IA
Aug. 24 – Pomeroy, IA
Aug. 25 – Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 12 – Nashville, TN
Oct. 4 - Ullapool, Scotland
Oct. 6 – Cottingham, England
Oct. 11 – Basingstoke, England
Jan. 16-18 - South Walton Beach, FL