It’s truly one of the darker features of the human condition that when the prospect of true inner happiness presents itself – or in the case of Lisa Michelle Anderson’s beautiful and lilting new acoustic country single “Joy Callin’,” literally rings us up – we all too often express skepticism, allowing our minds to go immediately to the self-sabotaging dark side where the bridges we’ve burned remind us not to get to excited.
As much as we would like to, the world’s beat us down too long (and the nightly news mostly so bleak and hopeless) to believe, as Joy (the personification thereof) tells her “the good will rise, the evil will fall.” So it makes sense that in the midst of the sultry voiced veteran singer’s infectious and soulfully metaphoric tune, she follows Joy’s promise that she’s here to help her along with “How do I know it’s you/And how do I know it’s really true?” There are no guarantees, but Joy reveals the heart-piercing truth in that same bridge: “Awe honey, it doesn’t happen overnight/But I’m always here if you want to make things right.”
That’s Anderson sharing a belief that maybe opening up to that joy accessible (from God, the Universe and ourselves) is really about confronting and moving past those inner demons and unresolved issues that tell us the good stuff isn’t possible, much as we say we want it.” It’s fascinating concept and simple yet powerful song that provides an unforgettable introduction (for those not yet familiar) to the ever-deepening artistry of Anderson, who has the unique distinction of being raised in Southeast Kansas on the music of Dolly Parton, then learning to play guitar in Australia.
Between then and now, she conquered the club scene in Minneapolis, opened for the likes of the late Warren Zevon, The Jayhawks, Peter Case, Marianne Faithfull and Lowen & Navarro, and recorded with countless other artists, including Johnny Irion, who produced “Joy Calling” and her upcoming full length album. Since launching her recording career in 2020, she’s released a couple of Eps showcasing her soothing vocals and songwriting prowess, in addition to a plucky cover of Joni Mitchell’s classic “Court and Spark.” Here’s hoping Anderson will bless us with more musical joy callin’ soon.