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Thu 28 May 2015, 8:00pm–11:00pm

Where: The Darwin Railway Club, Somerville Gardens, Parap, Northern Territory

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $30.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Anne McCue returns to Australia after 5 years with a new No. 1 album, Blue Sky Thinkin'.

"McCue's [guitar] virtuosity is no surprise, but the ease with which she's absorbed and restated the beating heart of swing music is impressive and thrilling.' - No Depression

McCue's 6th album has her exploring early influences such as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Peggy Lee and Hoagy Carmichael, Memphis Minnie and Benny Goodman.

McCue’s affection for this pre-rock music is evident in the disc’s gorgeously crafted songs; they sound so authentically vintage that you’ll be checking the credits to see what Tin Pan Alley tunesmith wrote them. “Things You Left Out in the Rain,” with its woozy horns punctuating McCue’s chanteuse-like purr, and “It Wasn’t Even Fun While It Lasted,” a lighthearted romp about heartbreak, suggest long lost gems that might have appeared in a ’30s musical. “Save a Life” evokes Peggy Lee’s smoky aura, while McCue professes that the acoustic blues “Cowgirl Blues” offers a nod to another of her favorite artists, Memphis Minnie. 

Those who know McCue for her rugged blues rock music will connect to “Little White Cat,” a ’50s-style roadhouse boogie that she notes is the most modern cut on the release. Written as a more positive-looking reply to Howlin’ Wolf’s “Ain’t Superstitious,” the tune also reveals her love for Cab Calloway, as does “Devil in the Middle,” a darkly dramatic song (co-written with David Olney and John Hadley) that features a duet with Dave Alvin. McCue was thrilled to get Alvin to sing with her because his “beautiful, deep voice” made him McCue’s first choice for the track.

Blue Sky Thinkin’ also affords McCue the opportunity to showcase her critically hailed guitar prowess in new and often more subtle ways. Her blues playing here favors a more acoustic variety, such as the Lightnin’ Hopkins-style picking on “Cowgirl Blues.” More often she salutes her jazz guitar idols. Her fluid licks in “Knock on Wood” and the title track pay tribute to the great jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, and the gypsy jazz playing on “Dig Two Graves” speaks to her affection for Django Reinhardt. The tango touches, meanwhile, in “Uncanny Moon” reflect her admiration for Argentinian music legend Astor Piazzola. 

To help bring her vision to life, McCue turned to some old friends: bassist/co-producer Dusty Wakeman, drummer Dave Raven and keyboardist Carl Byron. This trio of veteran Los Angeles sidemen (whose collective resumes include work with Roy Orbison, Bo Diddley, Nancy Sinatra, Warren Zevon and Dwight Yoakam) was her band on her breakout debut, Roll. McCue raves, “they just instinctively knew what to do”; so in sync that they recorded the final six songs in less than two days. 

The album was No. 1 on Roots Music Report Jazz Chart for 2 weeks (now No. 3) and Top 20 on the Americana Chart for 3 months.

Press Quotes:

"... with references to Django Reinhardt, Billie Holiday and Gershwin, among others, this gorgeous album showcases McCue’s songwriting, torch-like vocals and brilliant, mostly-acoustic guitar mastery." - Elmore Magazine

"A true depiction of McCue’s Southern charm, the album shines with a genuine bluesy, folk rock sound... Perceivably effortless, McCue continued to impress with a mastering of both guitar and vocals and at one point retrieved a sliding guitar for the song “Hangman.” - Austin Fusion Magazine

"An Australian transplant currently calling Nashville home, Anne McCue took a musical detour on sixth album Blue Sky Thinkin’, a candidate for her strongest work ever. Known for her guitar prowess, she expands into jazz and swing in the style of Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian, adding horns and keyboards for color." - Austin Chronicle

"The sprightly album brims with toe-tap-inducing feel-good patina." - Nashville Scene