Frédérique Spigt – The Medicine Show

In 1998, Frédérique Spigt had her breakthrough in the Dutch music scene when she participated in the national final for Birmingham. Her song, Mijn Hart Kan Dat Niet Aan, finished 3rd. Now, sixteen years later, it’s time for her tenth solo album and her first one in English. decided to have a look at this album, which accompanies Frédérique’s theatre tour!
The tour
Frédérique Spigt will be touring with her The Medicine Show through theatres in The Netherlands. Sixteen shows were planned for this tour, six of which in November. The ten remaining shows will be in Groningen (6 December), Amsterdam (7 December), Ede (12 December), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (13 December), Weesp (14 December), Drachten (17 December), Gouda (19 December), Austerlitz (21 December), Rotterdam (3 January) and Edam (8 January). If you can go, be sure to get your tickets early, especially as some shows are already sold out! You can check the theatres on Frédérique’s website here!
We also asked Frédérique why she decided to make an English language country albums, which is so different from the Dutch language music she’s done solo and with her bands (like I’ve Got The Bullets). She said:

It was time for a change. To be honest, I’ve been wanting to do country music ever since I’ve Got The Bullets. This album is really adventurous, it has all sorts of influences: Folk, blues, bluegrass, rock’n’roll. To me, it’s a complete, complete success! Including a Christmas hit 🙂

The review
Frédérique opens her show and her album with the track that also gives name to the album: The Medicine Show. It’s a full-on country number, which immediately determines the feeling for the rest of the album. If you enjoy country music, this is a track you’re going to enjoy. It feels genuine, and Frédérique’s vocals pierce through right away. Her raspy voice really makes this track (and actually the entire album to what it should be. This catchy uptempo song gets the album going in a perfect way before we move on to the first ballad: Homesick for Lafayette, which immediately shows the diversity of this album, yet continueing the atmosphere set by the first song.
An absolute highlight for me is song #3, Nos Levantaremos. For me, this song perfectly reflects what many people imagine with the old Wild West of America. It’s haunting, has a country feel to it and yet also manages to get the Latin influences in it, which is also represented by the title of the song. It’s no surprise that Frédérique chose to release this as a single from the album.
Both tracks #4 and #5 continue this theme of the old Wild West, especially the song Blue Corn Moon: a song reflecting what is believed to be a common tradition in American folklore. The folklore is followed by two touching ballads, called Goodbye Eleonora and I Won’t Cry No More. Where Goodbye Eleanora requires a lot of time before the song really hits you, I Won’t Cry No More has the instant effect of making an impact. The intro immediately drew my attention and no word escaped from my attention until the song was over.
The next three tracks, BobbieBlueberry Wine and A Face In The Crowd are all great in their own aspects, with A Face In The Crowd staying in my mind the longest, which is mostly caused by the interesting instruments and melody to it. It’s somehow typical for country music and yet completely different from what you’d normally expect.
As we get closer to the end of the album, we find another really interesting song with The Great Grim Reaper which is bound to make a huge impression live as it’s a typical clap-along song and I can just imagine an audience going crazy for this. Frédérique must be enjoying herself immensely everytime she performs this on her show.
Following the clap-along is a short instrumental intermezzo, called I’m Sorry. The music to this is so beautiful, you’d wish they’d turned it into a full four minute song with Frédérique getting her vocals in there as well. After the intermezzo we move on to I’m No Good. Frédérique’s rocky character gets a good part in this song, which is nice for a change as well.
The album is closed by the Christmas song, fitting the season perfectly. With the traditional Christmas bells in the background, this song is not all nice and cheery (it’s no ‘It’s Christmas and we’re all happy and jolly’), as you can see by the title: Christmastime In Jail. Even though I’m a fan of happy and jolly during Christmas, I’m sure this song is going to be played on repeat during Christmas a lot for me. It’s time for a new Christmas classic and this shoud be it!

This album shows that Frédérique Spigt is a really diverse artist who really does what she wants to do and that’s exactly what she should do. This album is indeed a total success, it really works. As a big country music fan, this album is exactly what I’d like to hear. This music is a perfect gift for Christmas for me. I really hope I can visit Frédérique’s show, because this album is worth it.
It may not be the most obvious choice, even if you’re Dutch, but this album is worth listening to.
Highlights: Nos Levantaremos, Christmastime In Jail and The Medicine Show
Rating: 9.5/10
You can buy The Medicine Show here for a physical copy and here on iTunes.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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