[14 June 2010]
When Lucinda Williams calls someone “my new favorite artist and an amazing guitarist”, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Anne McCue’s latest is a showcase of singing, songwriting, and guitar playing excellence, with scorching six-string solos gracing every tune from the barn-stomp opening track “Don’t Go to Texas (Without Me)”—with vocals reminiscent of Lucinda herself, singing over the riff from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”—to the extended guitar noodling of “The Old Man’s Talkin’”. McCue does more than rock out, though, as slow-burners like “Ol’ Black Sky” and “God’s Home Number” attest. The title track is a sludgy blues rant that manages to sound warmly familiar and entirely new at the same time. That’s the kind of record this is: little starbursts of surprise punctuating well-worn songs that feel as comfortable as a worn flannel shirt. By the time she hits album-closer “Rock and Roll Outlaw”, McCue is declaring, “I’m on my way!” Given the strength of this record, the listener would be be foolish to disagree. Good call, Lucinda.