Music Review: Missy Andersen – Missy Andersen
By Freddy Celis
August 2009

Several years ago, when Solomon Burke made his comeback with “Do Not Give Up On Me”, we could not know this widely-acclaimed album would unleash a humble, soul revival. The success of this album prompted the long-forgotten soul brothers Charles Walker and Howard Tate to get to the studio and capture their vocal skills on tape. In a short time, soul music was three, beautiful plates of soul richer. With Betty LaVette and Mavis Staple’s recording their best album in ages, the last doubts disappeared: soul is back! It now has a new soul sister: Missy Andersen.

Born in Detroit (Michigan), this soul diva calls New York her home because she grew up in Queens. She began to sing when she was six years, which has not stopped since then. She moved to San Diego, California and met Earl Thomas, and became one of the original Juke Joint Jezebelles – a gospel, blues and soul group backing Thomas.

On her recent debut album, Missy Andersen’s powerful voice is heard on eight different songs. Beautiful, intense soul, blues, and ballads of a singer who can whisper, growl, scream or just sing beautifully – often combined into a single number. Producer and husband Heine Andersen, also prints his mark on the plate. Not only has he produced the album, he’s the eminent guitarist and bandleader of the band that further comprises Asmus Jensen (drums), Jeppe Juul (organ) and Søren Bøjgaard (bass), all artists in this debut to support the powerful vocals of the singer.

The Missy Andersen CD is classic soul music. Along with some blood-curdling ballads, it tends towards blues and soul blues songs. Whether it’s old-style R & B in the opening song, “Ace of Spades”, quietly soul- ful as in “Same Old Blues,” or the driven funk of “Pack It Up” – soul, R&B, ballads – Missy Andersen sings everything with equal passion. She screams, moans, and groans her way through her songs and, subsequently, gives us no rest.

Only after the last sounds of the final song, “Stand Up and Dance” – one of its two self-penned songs – have died away, having been blessed with 33 minutes, do our backs meet the soft cushions of our armchair. Only two of the eight songs are originals, as just mentioned the “Stand Up and Dance”, with beautiful Dobro playing of guest Nathan James, the wind-driven blues song “New Feet”, one of the largest outliers.

This is just a great debut album from a great singer who clearly finds herself in the prime of her musical life.