Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jun 15, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageUnder the radar is a perfect way to describe the artist that is Anne McCue. She was recently brought to town for a gig at Kenny Pipes’ Almost Austin House Concerts via a reliable tip from his bud, Sergio Webb. It led to a full on sold-out gig at the house on House Street and everyone enjoyed it.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Anne grew up in a musical home environment that included everything from the Beatles to Nat King Cole. AM attended the University of Technology in Sydney, earning a degree in film production and studios. She freelanced as a Film and Theatre Reviewer for local newspapers, but tired of that in 1988 and headed to Melbourne where she joined a hard rock band, Girl Monster.

That led to two ARIA’s (Grammy equivalents) which in turn had her move on to her recording her ‘Laughing’ EP (1996). She played the Lilith Fair in 1998 and 1999 with an outfit titled Eden AKA, but the big break for her was her first solo recording, ‘Amazing Ordinary Things’, released in 1999 where she toured and caught the notice of Lucinda Williams.

‘Live: Ballad of an Outlaw Woman’ put the stamp on this lady as an in-your-face rock ‘n’ roller and after all the hype AM made the 14 hour drive to Pasadena ready to put on a highly anticipated show. She hit the stage brandishing an off-the-wall sense of humor, poking fun at her “Willie Nelson-esque” braids in her long hair.

After overcoming some technical snafus, a cover tune by the Doors jumped out of the gate, ‘Cars Hiss By My Window”, where McCue’s distinctive vocal style was observed immediately. ‘Walk Of Shame’ made ya dig seeing a lady playing re-verb action and filling the tight house like more than one person was on stage!

ImageOnce AM realized that Mr.Pipes’ venue is a roadhouse disguised as an urban residence, she seemed more at ease to cut loose and give the crowd what they wanted. Gems like ‘Lonesome Child’, ruled like you were in a musty blues lounge in a Louisiana bayou and ‘I Want You Back,’  , tore it up.

McCue was included on a collection of “4 Decades of Folk Rock” in 2010 that included heavyweights Bob Dylan, the Byrds and Patty Griffin to name a few. No small potatoes there, my friends. She was quite versatile, displaying skills on lap steel, electric and acoustic guitars this evening.

The cover song that really grabbed me was the Police classic ‘Roxanne’ which propelled the second set to higher highs! Another gem was her new optomistic song, ‘Blue Sky All Around Me’ with a killer powerful and soul drenched ‘Voodoo Chile’ to tear down what was left of the abode for the night!

McCue resides these days in Nashville, but she’s far from country as you could be. This reviewer came away seeing her as a potent singer, thoughtful songwriter and hard as nails guitar player blended into her tough girl persona.

Ask Anne what is her favorite thing to do in the world and she’ll tell you playing guitar. Amen, sister. So do yourself a favor and pick up one of her seven works to date, put on your headphones, and turn it up real loud.

It will floor you live especially and you can do JUST that on August 10th at the Bugle Boy in LaGrange and she’s already booked to return to Almost Austin April 26, 2014…Peace & out there watchin’ live music. Are you?!