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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 05, 2005

Behind the Number Two Door...

originally uploaded by mcmrbt.
...in today's new listening, this fresh outing for Saint Maria of McKee, the woman who's had more incarnations than Doctor Who.

This is her best outing for ten years or more, since the George Drakoulias-produced effort of the early 1990s. Since that time, she's released a couple of records bereft of decent tunes, hamstrung by a determinedly indie style of production and packaging.

With the best will in the world, I just couldn't bear to listen.

Back when I was largely ignorant of the world of female (country) vocals, I found Maria McKee's voice awe-inspiring. Particularly, live, I didn't think anyone could possibly belt 'em out like her.

Times change, and I guess Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Lari White, Joy Lynn White and Natalie out of the Dixie Chicks all give her a run for her money. They have the advantage, too, of the pick of great songs from great songwriters, while Ms McKee mostly sticks to her own material: a weakness.

So what's this one like? Still a fairly home-brewed production, but with a stronger set of songs. Some of it sounded pretty good, so it's certainly going to repay further listens. I'd still say there aren't any belting good tunes on this one (like "You Gotta Sin To Get Saved" etc), but it's definitely got more inthe way of melody than of late.

On the other hand, that voice, perhaps lacking the exercise she was giving it in the 80s and early 90s (or perhaps because of all the live dates in smoky clubs), isn't what it was. It's still good at times, but there's more yelping and yodelly type sounds than I'm strictly comfortable with.

Still, like Shelby Lynne, whose album is out towards the end of the month, you gotta support Maria, even if you end up selling it on.


  • Good to read that others are on to Maria. Just saw her, read my review: http://paliughis.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger Pigman, at 4:17 pm  

  • Yes, Maria is great. There is one correction I'd like to make about Joy Lynn White. She doesn't take advantage of having the "pick of the litter" of songs out there. She has evolved into a wonderful songwriter, and word around Nashville has it that she has a new CD coming out soon. We'll see. It would be great if Maria and Joy could tour together. What a night of great music that would be!

    By Blogger Peace To All, at 10:01 pm  

  • Thanks for the comments - I think JLW got lumped in there with the likes of Trisha and Martina. I would say that without a record deal she probably doesn't have the pick of anything very much.

    She did have a 2002 demos record for sale on her own web site - but I haven't heard it, apart from "Love Sometimes", which is good. Would have ordered it if not for the faffy order process, even at 20 dorrar.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 8:36 am  

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