Archive for the Anne McCue Category

ReviewShine Wednesday: Anne McCue and Ellis Paul

Posted in Anne McCue, Ellis Paul on April 7, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Two familiar artists today… Anne McCue and Ellis Paul. First up is Anne.

When we last heard from Australian turned Nashvillian Anne McCue, she had just released her 2008 effort East of Electric. That project was a bit of a departure for Anne, being that it was an acoustic album and contained none of the fiery electric guitar rock on which she made her name. That record was a fine addition to her catalogue, and it gave her a nice outlet show another aspect of her music. That said… it is refreshing to see her break out the amps and power cables again on the new release Broken Promise Land.
Anne is a phenomenally talented guitarist (her set at The Mercy Lounge during the 2004 Americana Music Conference was one of the top highlights that year), and she is not shy about showcasing her skills here. She boldly announces her electric return with the first muscular riff of the album opening “Don’t Go to Texas (Without Me).” That’s followed by an extended blues rock jam on the second track “Ol’ Black Sky.” She continues to shred her way through each of the album’s ten tracks, including the horn laced “Cruisin’ Paradise (Tenerife)” and the politically charged title track. Anne is back and ready to rock… and it sounds great.
Anne McCue: Ol’ Black Sky (Pre-Order Album)
For a more in depth look at Broken Promise Land check out Simon’s review at Beat Surrender.

Ellis Paul is an artist who has been on my radar since his 2003 collaboration with fellow songwriter Vance Gilbert, Side of the Road. By that point, though, Ellis was more than a decade into a career that has seen him emerge as one of the most respected songwriters in the highly competitive Boston folk music circuit. In his now two decade career, Ellis has won over a dozen Boston Music Awards, and listeners of Boston’s folk radio station WUMB recently voted him their second favorite artist of all time (behind only Bob Dylan).

Ellis’ new album The Day After Everything Changed should do nothing to diminish his standing. He’s crafted fifteen deeply affecting songs about people whose lives are are changing (usually for the worse) and how they deal with the upheaval. Whether the subject of the song is the Katrina victim in “Hurricane Angel,” the Confederate officer returning from defeat in “The Cotton’s Burning,” or the college bound teen leaving his innocence and his first love in “Annalee,” the emotions in each tune ring true. The song I’m sharing here is one of the quieter moments from the album, “Rose Tattoo.” The protagonist here has just been laid off and, with his world in upheaval, finds stability and comfort in his family.
Ellis Paul: Rose Tattoo (Buy Album)

Anne McCue: East of Electric

Posted in Anne McCue on October 14, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

My first introduction to the music of Anne McCue came in the form of her 2004 album Roll. It was a rocking roots album with tons of inspired blues licks and, at times, some scathing social commentary. The album drew comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. The former was even an staunch supporter of McCue’s music (Lucinda would later appear on McCue’s 2006 release Koala Motel).

I saw McCue perform at the Mercy Lounge in the fall of 2004 and was blown away by the performance. I knew the music going in, but I had no idea how talented a guitar player she was. As it turns out… McCue played every single lick of guitar on Roll (plus banjo, lap steel, and Hammond organ), and she played them well. That night, I watched McCue shred song after song while pounding shot after shot. I walked away quite impressed.

Here’s a brief taste of that 2004 album and a chance to hear McCue’s electric chops.

Anne McCue: Nobody’s Sleeping (Buy Album)

Now, Anne McCue has released a new album called East of Electric, and it is a much different sound for the artist who made her name as an electric guitarist. As the title suggests, this is an all acoustic album that McCue says is inspired by the golden age of folk-pop music from the late sixties.

McCue recorded and produced the album at her own studio in Nashville (she is a native Australian), and played most of the instruments herself. Although she does enlist Eamon McLoughlin of The Greencards to play violin and other strings, McCue once again plays all the guitars while adding banjo, piano, harmonica, lap steel, tambourine, ukulele, and mandolin among other instruments. The album is a true showcase for all of her talents.

To illustrate… here are a few tracks from the new album. Today we’re offering the short instrumental “Psychadelica II,” the protest song “Money in the Morning,” and the plaintive “Too Late for Love.” The first song is a chance for McCue to show off her acoustic playing. The second song tackles war, global warming, corporate greed, and the financial worries of the everyday American family. The third song is the sad tale of a girl who has gone too far down a dark path.

Anne McCue: Phychadelica II (Buy Album)
Anne McCue: Money in the Morning (Buy Album)
Anne McCue: Too Late for Love (Buy Album)