Review by Lynn Stevenson
Missy Burgess wrapped a highly supportive crowd at the Westboro Masonic Hall in a warmth as special as her famous blue sweater to launch her new CD, Play Me Sweet on Saturday. The evening was a lovefest for Missy with the audience singing along to many of her better known tunes as well as old standards. Fans gave her a standing ovation and left happy and humming into the November night.
Missy’s guitar work stumbled in spots, but that hardly mattered as it is her unique voice and larger than life personality that folks were there to see – and they were rewarded with beautiful servings of both. Down to earth and funny as hell, Missy Burgess is a joy to watch.
With the talented Alrick Huebener on upright bass and simply outstanding Keith Glass on guitar and electric guitar, there could be no doubt the evening would be a success. “It could go one of two ways from here,” quipped Glass at the start of the show; it definitely went in the right one.
Despite a cold that he claimed affected his singing, Glass put in a tremendous performance on a studio acoustic that he fussed over with a tenderness and humour similar to that with which he treated Missy. According to MC Karen Flanagan McCarthy, Glass told Missy the first time they played together – “I got your back” – and that support and friendship was evident throughout the night. The banter between the two alone was worth the price of admission.
Glass not only provided stellar guitar and great backup vocals for Missy, but he produced the new CD which may be her best yet. It includes her fabulous take on Tom Waits “Time”, her signature “Don’t Go to Cincinnati” (with four syllables Missy 🙂 and my new favourite, “Drive to the Moon” in which Missy’s voice takes on a new dimension that promises great things ahead. The title track “Play Me Sweet” is a poignant piece that listeners will definitely want to hear again. And the jazzy “Let There Be Peace” along with classics “Smile” and “We’ll Meet Again” lent a nostalgic warmth to the evening that clearly resonated with the audience.
Glass opened both sets with a few of his own songs which he promises will be part of a new solo album in the near future. This will definitely be something to watch for. Glass put off production of his own CD to help Burgess polish her sound on Play Me Sweet – and Missy fans are thankful for it. Until his CD is out, be sure to enjoy Glass on Missy’s new offering, her third in four years and a tremendous achievement for a truly amazing woman. Congrats Missy!
You can also see Missy, Keith and Alrick along with Lynn Miles and Michael Burgess among others at the 7th annual Healing Garden Music Fest on Sunday Nov. 27, 2 p.m. at The Bronson Centre.