Anne McCue “Broken Promise Land” (Flying Machine 2010)
Back in 2004 I heard a tune entitled Stupid which grabbed my attention, in all honesty I can’t recall exactly where, I think it was compilation promo CD, anyway I loved this tune – still do, this was my introduction to Aussie guitar slinger Anne McCue, so I tracked down the album Roll and the bonus disc too – you have to have some balls to do Hendrix covers, Voodoo Chile anyone?
Fast forward to 2010 and McCue has a new album that will hit the marketplace on May 18th it follows Koala Motel (2006) and the acoustic East of Electric (2008), both of which are fine albums, but given McCue’s love affair with amps and peddles when I heard news that the next project was going to be a rocker I jumped on the pre-order bandwagon for a signed copy straight away, when the album unexpectedly arrived in my Reviewshine inbox – I was double clicking the download link before the ink dried on the email.
The problem with expectation is there’s always a possibility that disappointment is just around the corner …………….. but there are no broken promises here as McCue serves up a fine collection, the press release throws around the adjectives “swampy”, “bluesy”, “dirty” , absolutely – but there are plenty of more layers to the album too.
Described by McCue as “a tribute to some of my favourite bands and guitarists” at it’s heart is McCue 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 doubt for me this is her best yet, nailed on.
There are eight original compositions and two smart covers, Amelia White’s Motorcycle Dream and Rose Tattoo’s Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaw, playing alongside McCue on the album are the rhythm section of Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) on bass, Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo/Wilco) on drums and Jess Leary on rhythm guitar. You’re eased in with the AM/FM opener Don’t Go To Texas (Without Me) (iTunes) before getting amped up on Ol’ Black Sky and Lonesome Child, there are further twists and turns as you’re taken on a ride through McCue’s rock influences past and present – if you like your rock straight up, grounded in roots without being restrained by it, go get yourself a copy of this album.
Anne McCue – Lonesome Child
I asked Anne if she could explain a little more about the album and the guitar work, she kindly obliged and this is what she had to say.
The Guitar on ‘Broken Promise Land
Over the years, so many people have said to me, “You should just make an out-and-out rock album that showcases your guitar playing.”
So I’ve been meaning to do it for a while. I decided to keep the acoustic songs and the electric songs separate this time. So I recorded East Of Electric, which was all acoustic and now I’ve recorded Broken Promise Land which is ALL ELECTRIC.
On Broken Promise Land I get to play in many of the different rock styles I love – biker rock, psychadelic, funk, sci-fi, blues rock, swamp rock and straight out rock.
The album is a tribute to some of my favourite bands and guitarists including Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, Link Wray, The Doors, Robert Fripp, early ACDC, Rose Tattoo, Hunters & Collectors, Hendrix, Dave Gilmour, Suzie Quatro, the early 90s Seattle Sound and even The Edge…
I used my 1979 Les Paul for most of the guitar work running through two amps – my Jamison Custom (dirty) and my Kustom Coupe ’36 (clean). I used my Kustom 15 Watt amp for the filthy sound on Lonesome Child. For vibrato guitar I use a cheap Ibanez with a Bigsby that I picked up at a pawn shop.
We recorded the band tracks live in about two days. Ken Coomer (drums), Bones Hillman (bass). Jess(ica) Leary played rhythm guitar on 6 of the songs. I then spent another couple of days on overdubs and finishing vocals. The recording process was brief but the journey of getting to this point has been long!
Me And My Les Paul
… go back a long way. I bought the guitar 20 years ago. It is a 1979 with triple humbuckers. I bought it because it sounded great, not because it had three pick-ups. We have been all over the world together, even when I lived in Vietnam that guitar was there with me! She has been with me through thick and thin and always sounds incredible.
When I lived in the rough part of Melbourne I used to hide the guitar in the bed when I went out. Often, when I got home I’d be too wrecked to take the guitar out of the bed, so yes, we have slept together!
This is the same guitar I played on Roll and Koala Motel and I played through the Jamison amp on those albums also. At the moment I’m using a Full-Tone Distortion, Line 6 Delay, Boss Flanger and a Vox Wah.
Pre-order @ Anne’s website
More @ Amazon and iTunes
Anne McCue @ MySpace
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