I think we can all agree that jazz and the blues are America’s greatest contributions to popular music over the years. So it figures that an Australian would craft an album that pays homage to the likes of Billie Holiday, George Gershwin and Benny Goodman.
Anne McCue is an acclaimed blues guitarist who has a handful of stellar albums to her credit since 2000. Sixth full-length “Blue Sky Thinkin’” might be her best yet as she dips into the pre-rock era when jazz — and swing in particular — ruled the musical roost.
“My parents were from the World War II generation,” McCue explains. “This was their music and I listened to it as much as New Wave and punk as a kid.”
Bookend tunes “Dig Two Graves” and the title track are the highlights of the 12-track set, but McCue also delivers the goods on “Spring Cleaning in the Wintertime,” Dave Alvin duet “Devil in the Middle,” “It Wasn’t Even Fun While It Lasted,” “Uncanny Moon” and “Cowgirl Blues.” Highly recommended. (Jeffrey Sisk)