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Anne McCue | Broken Promise Land

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Rock: Aussie Rock Blues: Blues-Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Broken Promise Land

by Anne McCue

A bit dirty, a bit rockin', a bit swampy and a bit bluesy, with a touch of mysteriousness to it...
Genre: Rock: Aussie Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Go To Texas (Without Me)
3:30 $0.99
2. Ol' Black Sky
5:20 $0.99
3. Lonesome Child
3:36 $0.99
4. The Lonely One
3:56 $0.99
5. God's Home Number
4:22 $0.99
6. Cruisin' Paradise (Tenerife)
4:25 $0.99
7. Broken Promise Land
2:58 $0.99
8. Motorcycle Dream
4:27 $0.99
9. The Old Man's Talkin'
6:27 $0.99
10. Rock'n'Roll Outlaw
4:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
ANNE IS TOURING the U.S. East Coast in July and plays Nashville April 30th. http://www.annemccue.com/tour.htm for more details.


Recorded in Nashville the album features rhythm section of
Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo/Wilco) and Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Anne McCue describes her new album, Broken Promise Land, due out on May 18, 2010 on Flying Machine Records Records, as “a bit dirty, a bit rockin’, a bit swampy and a bit bluesy, with a touch of mysteriousness to it.”

What isn’t mysterious is McCue’s musical talent and range. She was voted the Roots Music Association’s Folk Artist of the Year in 2008, performed in a Jimi Hendrix tribute at the 2007 International Guitar Festival and was included in the Four Decades of Folk Rock box set alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Wilco. Heart’s Nancy Wilson has described her as “my Aussie clone,” while Americana icon Lucinda Williams had this to say: “Initially, her stunning voice hooked me in. Then I got inside the songs. The first chance I got, I went to see her perform . . . I was floored! The combination of her tomboyish beauty mixed with the precision and assertiveness with which she approached the guitar, her surrounding languid and earthy vocals created an intoxicating blend.”

The new, self-produced album is one that she has long wanted to make. Combining heartfelt songwriting with gritty guitar playing, the record harkens back to McCue’s breakout Roll release, although she says that the new disc’s sound is even more raw than its predecessor. While earlier albums covered a range of roots-rock styles, Broken Promise Land focuses on McCue’s hard-charging “cosmic biker rock” sound.

The new disc lets McCue showcase her rockin’ ways and six-string virtuosity. The title track cuts loose with a blistering Hendrix-like bluesy guitar solo. The first single, “Don’t Go To Texas (Without Me),” boasts the dirty guitar sound of late ’60s English bands like the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones, while “The Old Man Talkin’” exudes a slinky J.J. Cale vibe.

The music’s strong, visceral energy results from a strategy to record as much as possible live. “I didn’t want to have a lot of layers. I wanted it to be pretty much what I can do on stage,” McCue asserts. She sought to capture the vibe of the old Albert King albums that she loves, which were recorded in only a few days, and she included a brass section in the sessions. By recording to tape, McCue also created the textures and dimension that she admires in T-Bone Burnett’s work.

On Broken Promise Land, McCue utilized the veteran rhythm section of Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) and drummer Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo/Wilco). “Bones and Ken are very developed as musicians,” she says. “It’s great to have that type of depth to the musicianship.” This powerful trio demonstrates their musical breadth throughout this disc, whether it’s building “The Lonely One” into a surging rock ballad, conjuring a spooky atmosphere in Amelia White’s “Motorcycle Dream” or roaring through a cover of Rose Tattoo’s “Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaw.”

McCue’s love for music was nurtured in Sydney, Australia, where she grew up in a house filled with music. Her father, while not a professional musician, played a variety of instruments and her mother sang in the church choir. All of her seven older siblings were heavily into music too, and sounds ranging from Billie Holiday to Led Zeppelin filled the McCue home. “Every type of music except hardcore blues,” the blues-loving McCue admits, “so I definitely didn’t get burned out on it as a child.”

Although McCue played guitar growing up, she wasn’t encouraged to be a musician. A longtime film buff, she got a degree in film studies at Sydney’s University of Technology. Her cinema studies are an influence. “To me, my songs are like short films,” she reveals, “I try to be very visual and cinematic with my music and now I am making videos for the songs too.”

After college, McCue joined an all-female band, Girl Monstar, which was very popular in the Australian indie rock scene. She later became a part of the folk-rock trio Eden AKA that performed on the Lilith Fair tour and recorded a never-released album for Columbia Records. Her ill-fated Columbia experience landed her in America, where she set up shop in Los Angeles and became a vital part of the city’s roots music scene. During her time in Southern California, she recorded two attention-grabbing albums — 2004’s Roll and 2006’s Koala Motel.

Both releases accumulated a bevy of critical accolades. Entertainment Weekly exclaimed that McCue “represents a new generation of hard-bitten, country-inflected singer-songsmiths,” while Billboard heralded her as  “the virtual definition of ‘triple threat.’ A potent singer, thoughtful songwriter and tough guitarist.” Austin Chronicle critic Jim Caligiuri noted that “these days, there are very few women working the same territory as McCue, who can combine tough and vulnerable. That she does it with poise and a self-deprecating sense of humor makes her an artist worth seeing again.”

A few years ago, McCue moved to Nashville, a place she finds quite fertile for making music. “There’s more room to think, more creative space,” she explains, “but there are so many great musicians that it really raises the bar and makes you want to get better.” Last year, she self-produced a limited-distribution acoustic album, East of Electric, on which she played a variety of instruments. A terrific example of her folkier side, it stands as a quiet side-trip to the full-bodied rock ferocity that Broken Promise Land delivers.

“This is the kind of music I love playing,” says McCue talking enthusiastically about her Broken Promise Land songs. “There’s nothing I could look more forward to than playing a whole set of bluesy, rocky, swampy music.”

See the video for McCue’s “Don’t Go to Texas (Without Me)” at



to write a review

Jake Delacroix

I have your other cd's and I've been a fan for some time but your new one is the best one yet!! Every song could be a single. I like the new direction you've taken. It suits your voice VERY well.

Audrey Mezera

Great rock album - play it loud!!!
Anne McCue delivers another fantastic Aussie rock album. Her music is guaranteed to make you feel good, especially if you crank it up! Catchy songs, awesome guitar playing, great band and straight-forward production. You'll play this album over and over, for years to come. Now THAT's value for money.

Bruce Greenberg

I love the arrangements
Women sure have figured out how to rock and roll over the years. Over the last year or two I've been enjoying artists like Grace Potter and Carolyn Wonderland, not to mention Nicole Atkins and of course Melissa Etheridge. Joining those rockers is Anne McCue, who's new CD is grittier and more alive than what is being released by most male rockers these days. I love the arrangements, which often start off with a standard bar band rock sound, and then in come the horns and you're moved to a different place. This is a tough world she lives in on the CD (it appears tough on the outside too, where she had to sell her steel guitar to get this CD made) and those lyrics add to the gritty and real feel that this album brings to you. The back of the CD says it all: PLAY LOUD.


it’s playing hard-drivin’ blues rock where McCue seems most at home
Those familiar only with
the folkier acoustic side that Australian
singer/songwriter Anne McCue displayed
on 2008’s “East of Electric”
(an album that helped earn her Roots
Music Association’s Folk Artist of the
Year honors) are in a for a rude awakening when you
pop the fantastic — yet decidedly different — “Broken
Promise Land” into the CD player. This is a rock record,
pure and simple, with McCue showing off her impressive
blues-guitar chops every step of the way.
From the opening riff of “Don’t Go to Texas (Without
Me)” to stellar entries “Lonesome Child,” personal
favorite “God’s Home Number,” “Cruisin’ Paradise
(Tenerife),” “The Old Man’s Talkin’” and “Rock ’N’
Roll Outlaw,” McCue shows a grit and resolve that makes
“Broken Promise Land” a delight. As impressive as she is
as a folk artist, it’s playing hard-drivin’ blues rock where
McCue seems most at home. (JS)


check out the catalogue of singer/songwriter Anne McCue
When Ms. Bowersox goes shopping for solo album repertoire, she ought to check out the catalogue of singer/songwriter Anne McCue on "Broken Promise Land" (Flying Machine/A-). McCue's got that neo-hippie/psychedelic/protest blues rock thing down very well. Grace Potter could learn from this chick, too. PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS

Chris M. Junior

check out the latest
Anyone who’s ever wondered what Sheryl Crow might sound like if she were a tad grittier and backed by a ballsy, bluesy band ought to check out the latest from Nashville, Tenn.-based Anne McCue.

On Broken Promise Land (due May 18), singer McCue also handles guitar, keyboard and vibes duties, and the songs she had a hand in writing – particularly the kickin' "Don't Go to Texas (Without Me)" and the spooky "Ol' Black Sky" – are the best of the bunch. Ex-Wilco drummer Ken Coomer keeps the beat on most of the songs.

Alternate Root Magazine

blistering, exhilarating rid
This is the Anne McCue many of us first came to love when she wielded her axe in true Hendrix fashion at SXSW,the Americana Music Conference and in the rootsy L.A. clubs. She’s experimented with a variety of instruments, song writing, and acoustic material since moving to Nashville. Now, as Anne says, this is “a bit dirty, a bit rockin’, a bit swampy and bit bluesy, with a touch of mysteriousness to it.” The sound is even more raw and rocking than her 2004’s, Roll and its follow-up Koala Motel. McCue has an alluring voice, augmented by her Aussie accent but the focus here is clearly on relentless guitar-driven rock n’ roll.

As it says on the back cover, “PLAY LOUD”. Accompanied by a rhythm section of Ken Coomer (drums) and Bones Hillman (bass), she begins with a British Invasion sounding “Don’t Go to Texas (Without Me)” followed by a psychedelic “Ol’ Black Sky” and the crescendo-building “The Lonely One”. She adds horns for “Cruisin’ Paradise and spooky elements to Amelia White’s “Motorcycle Dream” and the intoxicating “The Old Man’s Talkin” , echoing both Neil Young and J.J. Cale. Anne can be reserved and even shy at times but this ringing batch of tunes would totally belie that side of her The closer, Rose Tattoo’s “Rock n’ Roll Outlaw” is a staple in McCue’s live shows and emblematic of the persona she carries throughout this blistering, exhilarating ride.

Nichole Wagner

No Broken Promises
There are no broken promises on Anne McCue’s latest record, Broken Promise Land.

With her authentic, Lucinda Williams-flavored vocals, guitar chops and a near-live recording process without extra layers that would be difficult to replicate on the stage she charges full speed into a bluesy, swampy, slightly psychedelic mix of rock ‘n’ roll that she describes as “cosmic biker rock.”

The single, “Don’t Go To Texas (Without Me),” is a sharp love/hate song. The accompanying video has Anne and another girl (played by Tonya Watts) fleeing from the law after apparently some sort of gun-related incident. Anne studied film so it’s no surprise that her music videos have an element of mystery and intrigue that escapes many music videos.

The strong bass lines on tunes like “Lonesome Child” come courtesy of Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) while Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco) handles drums. Anne plays guitar, keyboard and vibes.

The title track, while almost old-school punk, has undertones of blues while singing the refrain of no more milk and no more honey. Ameila White’s “Motorcycle Dream” on the other hand is erie, disillusioned by the reality of life wanting a “pocketful of truth.” And that man in “The Old Man’s Talking?” He could very easily be the same wise man from down in the quarter in Levon Helm’s “Hurricane.”