Pour Me a Song
"This woman's got livin' in her voice". This is what people say about Missy Burgess. She begins to sing and the room is silent. Missy Burgess began singing at the age of 10 in her brother's tree house (where only the birds and the bugs could hear her!) At 18 she bought a piano for $20.00 (with no felts!) and proceeded to drive her family crazy with her "creative slamming". Then, at 19 years she bought a Sovereign Harmony guitar for $25.00. At age 20, she entered nursing school and took her guitar with her. Although studying overtook playing the guitar, Missy was often seen "killin' the blues" at the local diner where each booth had a juke box of over 100 songs. Music was always a significant part of Missy's life but it was when she was working with people suffering from psychiatric illness that music took on a much deeper and significant meaning for her. She found herself more interested in people's courage than their biochemical makeup. So she wrote about it. Years later, in the midst of a successful teaching career, marriage and motherhood Missy took her voice and guitar to the stage. In 2001, Missy performed for a "captive audience" at the Angola Prison for Women in Louisiana, a full maximum security prison. She had written a song for a prisoner, Mary Riley and the song won a spot on a compilation CD. (Rasputin's Folk Café, Ottawa, Canada). Missy was the first Canadian performer ever allowed to perform there and Mary Riley was front row and centre. The experience left Missy with a will and determination to continue pursuing music as a means of expression and connection with others. Missy has utilized her singing talent for a considerable number of fund-raising events, especially cancer related which led to a working relationship with Terry Eagan, a music producer in Boston who brought Missy to the stage sharing her music with the likes of artists Karen Savoca, Rick Fines, Suzie Vinnick and Georgette Frye at Boston's Regent Theatre and the National Archives Auditorium in Ottawa. Missy performs regularly at Jericho's Café in Ottawa, has staged concerts at both the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage and Rasputin's Folk Café. Missy's first solo album "Pour Me a Song" was recently released as a mixture of originals and songs she loves. Although Missy identifies herself as a "bluesy folk" singer it really doesn't do justice to the range of her influences, which include music from the 40's and 50's. She has been most inspired by Canadian artists Penny Lang, Rick Fines and Ron Hynes along with the American artist Tom Waits. She tells everyone she will play with all these people one day. She probably will.