Anne McCue: Koala Motel

Australian singer-songwriter Anne McCue’s twangy Koala Motel has legitimately drawn comparisons to Lucinda Williams, though I find Anne’s voice and music much more interesting these days. Lucinda Williams is a guest on the album, along with John Doe and Heart’s Nancy Wilson – it was McCue’s association with Heart that initially brought her to my attention. Koala Motel meshes Anne’s singing, guitar playing, and songwriting skills with banjo, lap steel, strings, accordion, pianos, pump organ, vibes, and a trash can.

The albums opens with the dark journey of “Driving Down Alvarado”, which features John Doe. The catchy “From Bakersfield To Saigon” examines the cruelty and greed infesting cultures worldwide.

The quiet fury of the stunning “Jesus’ Blood” was inspired by a parish priest’s predatory past, while the pretty ballad “Coming To You” is based on a letter in Lady Chatterlay’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence.

The apocalyptic “Any Minute Now” burns a hole in the disc with some heavy riffs and grinds, and the atmospheric “Shivers” features what is probably McCue’s best and most emotive vocals on the album.

The disc also includes a helping of the blues in the Lucinda Williams guest sport “Hellfire Raiser” and the floor shaking cover of Tony Joe White’s “As The Crow Flies”. The instrumental title track carries the album off into the dusty sunset.

Anne McCue – Driving Down Alvarado (mp3)
Anne McCue – From Bakersfield to Saigon (mp3)
Anne McCue – Bright Light of Day (mp3)

Anne McCue Official Site
Anne on MySpace

Buy the CD