Missy Andersen: Missy Andersen
By Joseph Taylor
February 1, 2010

One of my complaints about current blues and R&B recordings is that they try to update the genres, injecting busy guitar solos or a glossy sheen and missing the essential simplicity that once made the music so compelling. That’s never the case with Missy Andersen’s self-titled debut, which shows a full grasp of the understated elegance that made Stax/Volt, Hi Records, Goldwax, and other southern soul labels so great. Andersen announces both her seriousness and her abilities by opening the disc with a crack version of O. V. Wright’s “Ace of Spades.” You’ll spend only a few seconds thinking about the original before you bow to Andersen’s mastery of the tune. She brings the same sure touch to “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and “Tell Mama” and to the two songs she co-wrote. The band, led by her husband Heine Andersen (on guitar), appears to be Danish (the disc was recorded in Copenhagen), but their firm, tasteful support might leave you thinking they’re from Muscle Shoals or Macon. Heine Andersen is a soulful blues guitarist who never overplays, and Robbie Smith’s horn sound is warm and natural. At just over 32 minutes, Missy Andersen is way too brief. Otherwise, it’s a winner.