Multi-Honoured Hamilton, Ontario Blues Artist André Bisson Is In A Total Funk With 'Missing You'
By Eric Alper.
It’s a sad symptom of the human condition. Sometimes we just don’t realize what we really have until it’s gone. This cornerstone component of the blues gives award winning singer-songwriter André Bisson the foundation for his funky, driving new single, “Missing You”.
The first taste of the Hamilton-based, internationally touring artist’s 9th album, “The Ballad of Lucy Stone”, due out September 30, “Missing You” emphatically checks all the boxes of a killer, scathing blues track with a funkified soul. Bisson’s guitar is meaty and rhythmic, and his voice is primed with emotion and gravelly heartache. The horn section jumps in with searing melodic fills and the super tight rhythm section solidly ushers the whole song along at a pace guaranteed to inspire maximum groove.
“‘Missing You” is about a man who has talked his way out of a good relationship and hopes that it’s not too late to fix it,” says the 2022 Hamilton Arts Award nominee. “There is a revelation that becomes clear: it’s not who we can live with but instead who we can’t live without.”
Some say that loneliness Lives alongside misery Till that girl came and saved my soul I was keeping both company
We’d all like to avoid having them but, regrets are definitely the fuel that drives “Missing You” and makes the song universally relatable.
“Sometimes all the little changes that are asked of us are for our own benefit, to improve our own quality of life,” explains Bisson. ”Sometimes it takes being deprived of that to realize just how truly special our relationship is. The hope is that this epiphany is realized before it’s too late.”
“Missing You” is the first introduction to Bisson’s new album “The Ballad of Lucy Stone”, set for release on September 30. This is the Bruce Mines, Ontario-born, Hamilton-based singer-songwriter’s 9th album release since 2009. That’s a staggering average of a new album every 18 months for the past 13 years from this prolific singer-songwriter and tireless live player. And all that hard work is delivering. Over those 13 years, Bisson has gained notoriety with awards such as Hamilton Blues Awards’ “Male Vocalist of the Year”, “Song of the Year” from Blues and Roots Radio, and he’s been nominated for four Hamilton Arts Awards. He was also selected by the Grand River Blues Society to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
“The Ballad of Lucy Stone” is a tribute of sorts to a real, historic figure and builds its theme inspired by her story. Lucy Stone (1818 - 1893) was a women’s rights activist in mid-19th century Massachusetts. Stone was the first woman in the State to earn a college degree and became a vocal advocate and organizer for the women’s suffrage movement, which eventually led to passing the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote in the U.S.
The story of Lucy Stone reflects the theme of this album,” notes Bisson. “The road to change may be difficult, but many things worth doing often are. We must not avoid the obstacles in our lives but instead face them head on. Fear is only a reminder that we are working towards something worth fighting for.“
Bisson certainly exhibits fearlessness and pure joy when fronting his band that can range in size from 6 to 20 members. However, he’s a do-it-yourself artist when it comes to songwriting and arrangements. Much like his previous albums, He’s the sole writer of all 10 tracks on “The Ballad of Lucy Stone” and produced the album. He’s no one-man band in the studio though. While Bisson plays all the guitars and sings lead and some background vocals on this album, he was joined by Jesse O’Brien on piano and keyboards, Mike Rowell on bass guitar, Keagan Early on drums and other percussion, Pat Carey on tenor sax, Gordon Aeichele on tenor & baritone sax and clarinet, Loretta Hale on trumpet and cello, Shawn Moody on trumpet, Rob Somerville on trombone, Lizuarte De Sousa on flute, Kevin Matthews on clarinet, Dan Rodrigues on dobro, accordion and piano, Paul Barna on violin/viola and Theresa Hale-Charters, Quisha Wint and Selena Evangeline on background vocals.
With 13 very busy years of music career building leading Bisson and his band to play sold out shows in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Europe, he knows the work and dedication it takes to establish and grow in the music biz.
Big changes do not happen overnight,” says Bisson. ”It is the little actions we take each day that make the difference.”
Lucy Stone’s reported final words are also words to live by for Bisson and his music. “Make the world better.”
For Bisson, it’s one great song and one sold out show at a time.“Missing You” from the forthcoming “The Ballad of Lucy Stone” is available now.