Saint Bernadette was founded by Meredith DiMenna and Keith Saunders in 2007 when DiMenna learned she had a possibly cancerous tumor on her thyroid gland. The Pair had recently relocated to Bridgeport, CT to take advantage of an artist housing opportunity that allowed them to establish a recording studio and record label in their home in Read’s Artspace, a new building that housed other like-minded artists in Bridgeport’s once beautiful downtown.
Before undergoing a surgery located dangerously close to her vocal chords, the pair decided to make an album, utilizing one of Bridgeport’s many abandoned spaces, setting up a mobile recording rig in the old Quilty’s Ballroom, on the second floor of the Bijou Theater building.
Their debut album, In the Ballroom, featured the handiwork of two of Bridgeport’s break out producers (it was produced by Chris Sanchez (Gold Coast Recorders) and mixed by Peter Katis (Tarquin Studios), and quickly launched the band, drawing positive reviews from local and national outlets.
DiMenna survived the surgery, cancer free and vocal chords in tact, and the band went on to release five albums and toured nationally until 2012 with their final album, The Nevers, produced by Danny Kadar and recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC.
From the biblical fury of the Led Zeppelin-meets-Heart righteous anger of “In the Time of Moses,” the pounding AC/DC-style female empowerment of “Take It If It’s Yours” and the Stonesy blues of “Whatcha Prayin For” to lap steel virtuoso John Novellli’s weeping, squawking guitars which close out “Over the Line” and the first-hand accounts of domestic strife in the crashing garage-rock of “The Winding Road” and the raw confessional of “In the Next Go Round,” The Nevers has blood on its tracks, its outcome a testament to a relationship which couldn’t outlast its own passion. reviewed by Chip McCabe at CT.NOW as “possibly the most complete and singular album they’ve ever done. “
Producer Kadar explained its appeal: “This is the kind of album, when you’re going through these kinds of things, a friend hands it to you and says, ‘Listen to this.’ And nothing else will do.”
SELECTED PRESS QUOTES:
ALL MUSIC GUIDE: Saint Bernadette’s debut is a shimmering set of torchy, if not necessarily romantic jazz blues that reveals additional layers the more it’s played. . . . Turn the lights down low, burn some incense, and lose yourself in Saint Bernadette’s intense yet lithe charms.
MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG: If you’re a fan of femme fatales and below-the-belt rock (and really, who isn’t?), Saint Bernadette is definitely worth your attention.
SENTIMENTALIST MAGAZINE: The debut album from Connecticut’s Saint Bernadette hits the sort of notes and touches that make me weak in the knees, by expertly melding things I’m a sucker for: ballsy broads, smoke-filled jazz clubs, and, of course, the element of surprise.
CT.COM: Saint Bernadette is fronted by the awe-inspiring Meredith DiMenna. Let’s start right there. DiMenna delivers an absolutely powerhouse performance once again on this record. From the Grace Slick and Ann Wilson inspired rock fest of the opener “In The Time of Moses” to the Emmylou Harris-esque beauty of closer “Close Enough For Me” DiMenna spends the album running the gamut of emotions and styles with uncanny precision.
BUST MAGAZINE: “sweet as an angel and edgy as hell”
METROMIX: “Meredith DiMenna is a monster of a frontwoman”