She gets slotted into blues because of her old band, the 24th Street Wailers, but Burgess is doing her own thing on her solo albums. This latest touches all sorts of bases, from pastoral to rockin', all with a solid, rootsy sound. That's due in part to co-production from her pals in her latest band, Peterborough's Weber Brothers, no strangers to high-quality songwriting themselves.
On the rootsy side, there's the laid-back groove of Kawartha Pines, Burgess taking us out to the country, on a number built around her mellow acoustic playing. The songs switch from acoustic to electric to eclectic, confident, and really well-crafted. She's known primarily as a guitar player, but her lyrics stand out here, miles ahead topically and line-by-line than most. "What's your endgame? What ya playing?" she asks in "Trickin' My Heart," which left me wondering if I'd ever heard the word endgame in a song before. The country-blues shuffle "You Can Hear Your Favourite Song" is particularly clever, as well as catchy, where she states that she believes when you die, your favourite song comes into your head as you cross over. Bonnie Raitt should hear this one.
You can make lots of other comparisons, all of them good, because she moves so well between genres. "I Didn't Mean It" sounds like calmer Fleetwood Mac, with Burgess handling both the Stevie and Lindsay roles. "So Easily" could be Kathleen Edwards fronting The Sadies, complete with a fiery solo to remind us of her lead guitar skills. It's a well-rounded, skillful showcase, Burgess stepping up as a songwriter, singer, and player.
P.S. Cool glasses, too.