Exactly two years since the release of her outstanding “Are We In Love” album, Peterborough, ON, singer-songwriter Emily Burgess (guitar/vocals) returns with her latest “Never-Ending Fling” album. Written and recorded with The Emburys, Emily is joined by Marcus Browne (percussion/vocals) and Dawson McManus (bass) to not only deliver eleven stunning new compositions, but to further reinforce being honored as ‘Best New Group’ at the prestigious Maple Blues Awards earlier this year. Touring extensively as part of ‘The Baddest Band in the Land,’ The Weber Brothers, since 2014, Emily has successfully carved her own unique identity within the blues-roots genre, and brings her formidable vocal and guitar skills to the forefront with this new release.
The album opens with “Black and Blue,” one of three original tracks provided by Ryan and Sam Weber, complete with a light, bluesy beat, and instrumentation that quickly overwhelms the senses as it bounces around merrily from speaker to speaker. Emily’s vocals are upbeat and delivered with plenty of enthusiasm, before yielding ultimately to her well-known electric guitar skills, the instrument that she is always happy to let do the talking. And as expected, her six string has a lot to say throughout the album, and is never shy about taking every available opportunity to impress. “The Lion and the Lamb” features Marcus on lead vocals (complete with a great 70s Elton John/Gilbert O’Sullivan sound), and is also penned by the Weber Brothers, as is “Excuses,” which offers a foot-tapping country blues number with some outstanding slide guitar that very quickly earns repeat plays.
Be sure to spend some time with “Gift of the Gab (I Need your Love),” co-written by Emily and Ryan, and oozes beautifully with a light reggae influence that correlates perfectly with the lighter blues vibe. Skip a few tracks to “Won’t Be Getting Played,” and take delight in the atmospheric, jazz-fused sounds offered by Emily’s sultrier side, before jumping right back in to the rock n roll grooves found in “Devil of Me.” And don’t miss out on “Something Big,” with its galloping drum beat, and some eerie guitar cries courtesy of Emily, along with some vintage riffs that respectably pay homage to the six-string slingers of past generations.
All eleven tracks on this album are very impressive, but “My Hearts Lone Ranger” is the one track that truly stands out as an early favorite for me. Shifting to an old country and western sound, Emily demonstrates the versatility of both her vocal delivery and instrumentation. Joining the fun and bouncy beat is some pretty phenomenal pedal steel, courtesy of guest musician Jimmy Bowskill, whose vintage riffs conjure up images of spit and sawdust floors, rustic taverns, and dusty tip jars on the corner of the bar each time I become lost in those steel strings.
“Never Ending Fling” is another stunning album from Emily Burgess & The Emburys, with enough variety and excellent musicianship to earn your attention. Whether you are in the mood for blues, rock n roll, jazz, or country, there’s a little bit of everything here to satisfy your cravings. We can only imagine how good these tracks will sound live too, and rest assured that we’ll be checking Emily’s tour schedule in 2020 for a chance to find out. Thank you Emily for sharing this new release with us, and we encourage everybody to take some time to give this one a whirl.