Thursday, August 26, 2010
Right On, McCue!
It seems that every summer my wife and I discover someone new and exciting. This year is no different. Allow me to introduce Anne McCue to you.
I knew of her work by virtue of her CDs being inexpensive at my local used CD store.
I'm willing to take a chance on an artist if the risk is minimal. In her case, her CDs were priced at $3.99 (promotional copies). My interest was piqued because she looked interesting--a blonde wielding an electric guitar. It seemed like she wrote most of her material, and I liked the song titles. So I was ready for more.
I enjoyed the CDs well enough, but they were retired to my shelves until I noticed her name on the bill at one of my favorite clubs in the Boston area, Johnny D's. Then my wife and I began listening again to the two releases I owned. Acclimated to her material, we eagerly awaited the gig.
Anne McCue was a wonder. She is tall and striking, and she was blessed with monster band at the gig. Oh, how I love to be in a club having that wall of sound envelop me! I find her work mesmerizing. She takes great pains to write good lyrics and tell a story, as well as playing the electric guitar for all it's worth.
I told her that I'm so grateful to know her material because she stretches me as a listener. I love her lyrics and her singing, but her guitar work educates me in the joys of high amplification and long improvisations.
She has a dry wit on stage, and her Australian accent will echo in your head long after the concert is over. She works closely with Jess Leary, who sings harmony and plays rhythm guitar. Great combo!
Her latest release is Broken Promise Land. Follow the links in this blog to learn more about this exceptional artist and, by all means, if you're lucky enough to have her appearing in your area, go to see her!
David Bowling, writing on the site BlogCritics, has this to say about Anne McCue's latest effort.
She improvises songs "in a manner that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud."
"For the album, she has wisely surrounded herself with a veteran rock rhythm section. Bones Hillman of Midnight Oil and drummer Ken Coomer of Uncle Tupelo/Wilco lay down a solid foundation upon which she builds her guitar sound. While some tracks add a second guitarist and some brass at times, I can’t help but think it is within the structure of a basic power trio that she is at her best. The focus there is upon her vocals and guitar, which is where it should be.
A blogger named Simon, writing on the No Depression site:
Described by McCue as “a tribute to some of my favourite bands and guitarists” at its heart is McCue's reverence to her musical influences on which she draws heavily without allowing them to dictate the end product - it's no generic tribute but a real sum of its parts, the writing, the vocals, the guitar work and production, keeping control of all aspects McCue has put together the album she wanted to make - there’s no for me this is her best yet, nailed on.
Check out Anne performing the single from the new CD, "Don't Go to Texas (Without Me)".