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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Flying Machine Records artist: Anne McCue - Blue Sky Thinkin' - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 10, 2015), Blue Sky Thinkin', from Anne McCue and it takes you to a different place. Opening the release is Dig Two Graves, a swinging blues track with smooth vocals and slick guitar work from McCue, joined by Dave Raven on drums, Carl Byron on piano, Dusty Wakeman on bass and Deanie Richardson on violin. Things You Left Out In The Rain is a cool period blues style track with silky vocals and great jazz style horn work from Jim Hoke (clarinet), Steve Herrman (trumpet) and John Hinchey (trombone). Spring Cleaning In The Winter Time is a light hearted track with some fleet fingered guitar work from McCue. Devil In The Middle, co written by Dave Alvin and David Olney features McCue and Alvin in duet and classic early blues instrumentation. This is that "New Orleans Jazz" in it's classic form. Featuring Hoke on clarinet, Randy Leago on sax, Steve Herrman on trumpet and John Hinchey on trombone ...Terrific! Long Tall Story has thata Memphis Minnie sound with McCue on vocal and dobro. lightly backed by Carl Byron on piano and Dave Raven this track has a nice swing and cool melody. Little White Cat is a bit more upbeat with some hot lap riffs by McCue. With backing vocals by Szu Wong and bass by Djordje Stijepovic this track almost has a gypsy sound. Very cool! It Wasn't Even Fun While It Lasted has a theme which most everyone can relate to. Strong piano by Byron and violin by Richardson dress this simple melody making it quite a pleasant venture. Save A Life has a 50's jazz sound with only basics for backing with finger snaps and cool bass riffs by Dave Pomeroy. Uncanny Moon has a really nice Latin feel with stylized drums and piano. McCue's vocals are very nice but her guitar work is beautiful on this track. My definite favorite. Cowgirl Blues has a memorable melody and simple instrumentation with basic blues fundamentals but presented in a more modern manner. Knock On Wood again gets that moody horn soaked feel and it is performed flawlessly. With McCue on vocal and guitar with Tisha Simeral on bass, Bill Huber on trombone, Herrman on trumpet and Hoke on clarinet, this is quite a cool track. Title track Blue Sky Thinkin', is a poppy track really allowing McCue to step forward on guitar with clever jazz riffs, blended with Byron on piano and Hoke on clarinet. A very nice conclusion to a solid contemporary yet rootsy blues based release.

Also want to comment that I really like the cover art which is also by McCue.

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