Review: Missy Andersen – Missy Andersen

Posted on: Monday, Aug 3, 2009


(self-titled, Main Squeeze Records: MS 1201)

Here’s a terrific release, courtesy of Betsie Brown at Blind Raccoon in Memphis, of soulful blues from the San Diego-based Missy Andersen – Detroit-born and raised in Queens, New York – a short, but very sweet, eight tracks of classic soul and blues – mainly covers, but with a couple of original songs, all beautifully sung and the band delivering some great grooves!

Influenced by her parents record collection, Missy Andersen grew up listening to the likes of Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers and more, later picking up on O.V. Wright, Bobby Bland, James Carr, Ann Peebles, etc., before finding her own voice – and what an impressive voice it is!

When she relocated to San Diego, California, she met local bluesman Earl Thomas – now well known here in the UK – becoming a member of the Juke Joint Jezebelles, who provided backing vocals for Earl’s shows. After fronting the San Diego-based band, Tell Mama, she felt the time was right to branch out on her own – with this album being her first solo offering.

Her band – led by husband Heine Andersen on guitar, also features Asmus Jensen (drums), Soren Bojgaard (bass) and Jeppe Juul (Hammond organ), with additional musicians comprising Robbie Smith (trumpet), Bob Mathes (saxophone), Paul Cougill (Wurlitzer) and Nathan James (Dobro) – with the album being recorded in Copenhagen.

The opening “Ace Of Spades” – famously covered by O.V. Wright, is a tasty funky Southern soul workout, with tremendous Hammond work by Jeppe Juul, followed by the band composition “New Feet” – some nice soulful grooves here with the horns of Robbie Smith and Bob Mathes pushing the song along, before a glorious cover of the timeless “I Can’t Stand The Rain”, forever associated with the legendary Ann Peebles – special mention here to the keyboards of Jeppe Juul and Paul Cougill, and a vocal tour-de-force from Missy Andersen herself.

Etta James ‘theme’ song “Tell Mama” is delivered here in a storming up-tempo version, with the great “Same Old Blues” from the pen of Willie Nix featuring some sweet guitar work from Heine Andersen. Missy and the band dip into the Junior Wells back-catalogue for a funky “Little By Little” – more lovely Hammond on this – then getting into another great groove on “Pack It Up”, a feature of the later material of, master blues guitarist, Freddie King.

The closing “Stand Up And Dance” is given an almost country blues feel by Nathan James downhome Dobro playing and Asmus Jensen’s sparse drumming – very nice though, and a fitting end to a most enjoyable release – highly recommended for all lovers of classic soul and blues.


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