Missy Andersen: Missy Andersen
Southland Blues
By Jim Santella
February 2010

Singing contemporary blues with her fully loaded band, Missy Andersen brings an earthy quality to each lyric and makes the music come alive. She’s as adept with covers as she is with creative originals; each selection builds with passion and lights fires all along the way. Her husband, guitarist Heine Andersen, and her organist, Jeppe Juul, stand out with solid solo work in support of the vocalist and weave the unit’s ensemble sound tightly around horns and rhythm.

Guitarist Nathan James sits in for “Stand Up and Dance” with slide dobro, as the song represents pure country blues at its most persuasive. Five of the album’s eight selections feature horns and give the affair a full-bodied timbre. But it’s Andersen’s vocal magic that lights up the night and makes each lyric message come forward with clarity and compassion.

“Tell Mama” turns a corner with fiery refrains that mirror funk and soul and rock with unbridled action. It’s also the name of her San Diego-based band, which grew with that kind of sound since the 90’s. Andersen is a former board member of Blues Lovers United of San Diego and is a lead presenter in its sponsored Blues in the Schools program. But she was born in Detroit, raised in Queens, and developed a well rounded approach to popular music along the way. Her broad tastes show up on this eponymous album as she feels her way through delta, Chicago, and everywhere blues with a comfortable approach that captures the traditional essence while sporting a new overcoat.