Blue Sky Thinkin’
Flying Machine Recordings 2015
Review by David Bowling
Anne McCue is one of those artists you want to follow everywhere. The Australian born singer/guitarist learned her musical chops as a member of two all-female bands; Girl Monster and Eden AKA. Now based in the United States, she is about to release her 7th full-length studio album, Blue Sky Thinkin.’
She has been primarily an alternative country artist, whose music expands in a folk, blues, and rock direction upon occasion. Her releases have also been guitar based and she has developed into an accomplished instrumentalist. That’s why her new album is such a surprise as it is an abrupt change of musical direction.
She has traveled in what can be described as a light jazz direction as she draws from the past by channeling the likes of Billie Holliday, George Gershwin, and Hoagy Carmichael. The main emphasis has moved away from her guitar and settled squarely on her voice and words.
The songs are her own as she wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 tracks. It is the style that reaches into the past. This is very apparent on “Things You Left Out In The Rain” and “It Wasn’t Even Fun While It Lasted” as they are lyrical and melodic as she gives quiet swinging performances.
You can picture Billie Holliday in a smoky lounge late at night singing “Save A Life.” She moves in an acoustic direction with Cowgirl Blues, which is a stylistic tribute to one of her idols, Memphis Minnie. “Little White Cat” may not fit the style of the rest of the music but it is welcome as it is a rough roadhouse boogie tune.
It is always interesting to see an artist expand their horizons and try something different. Blue Sky Thinkin’ is an album that shows a different side of Anne McCue, and for those who have continued to follow her, it is a very worthwhile journey.