It’s no joke that music is a savior for many. But for Denver’s Brian Bourgault, it goes even further. Music is his liberator, his freedom, his Remedy. The Denver singer-songwriter who was diagnosed with a rare, motor skill-robbing nerve disorder in 2015 has been on a prolific streak since his diagnosis and his latest release, appropriately titled Remedy is quite frankly, the best prescription that his doctor hasn’t written.
Joined by an incredible musical support system that includes Carl Sorensen on drums, John Grigsby (Gregory Alan Isakov band) on bass, James Dumm on guitar, Adam Bodine on piano and B3 organ, some remote guest appearances by Erik Deutsch of Leftover Salmon and Fili Filizzola of 500 Year Flood, and a horn section, Bourgault continues with the throwback R&B/soul that he’s polished over the last two releases.
Like 2018’s Be Kind, and the 2019 follow-up Without You, Bourgault kicks off Remedy with a soulful swagger that brings forth a Night Sweats-esque revivalist energetic romp, and by the time he sings the final line “I think I need a doctor,” it’s startling, because it sounds like the only thing Bourgault is struggling with is containing such a raucous sound.
The album was tracked on two-inch tape at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver, with John Macy engineering the sessions. After transfer of the analog to digital, Bourgault took the files home where he mixed and mastered them, despite the considerable effort it takes for him to use a computer mouse. He recently told Westword: “I’m getting pretty good at it. I’m pretty much paralyzed from the elbows down, but I do it with my two hands. I set my right hand on top of the mouse and set my left hand on top of my right and apply a little bit of pressure to click.
Live performance seems like a door that is locked for now, but what I can do is write, record and release songs. I don’t need anyone else to do that. So that’s what I’m focusing on for now. If I’ve learned anything out of all of this it’s that I’d rather go through the doors that are open to me rather than using all my energy trying to kick down doors that are locked.”