Anne McCue – 20 Questions

I think I may have been first on the block when this songstress from Australasia first played in Europe..we have been in touch since then. Here she fields a set of customised questions on matters we haven’t tackled before – Pete

  • When we first met way back, in London you were surprised that I knew about your sister’s painting – what’s she doing now? Do you ever see her?

Yes, I have two sisters who are visual artists – Jules McCue paints in oils and is doing some really wonderful work, and my sister Christine McCue who does collages, installation type stuff. They are also both musicians also.

  • Suggest two or three great drum intro’s to songs or instrumentals ( any genre )

(tune /artist/ source album)

‘Lust For Life’ Iggy Pop Lust For Life

Sing, Sing, Sing (Gene Krupa) Benny Goodman Big Band ‘The Swing Years’

  • A favourite bassline on a dance recording and why?

(track / artist/ source album)

Deee-Lite ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ World Clique Bootsy!

Le Freak Chic ‘C’est Chic’ Disco bassplaying at it’s greatest!

Sly & The Family Stone “Hot Fun In The Summertime’ I’m Back! Family & Friends

  • Do you currently have a favoured stage guitar for a/ acoustic and b/ electric – explain the choices please

My favourite electric guitar is my Hanson Cigno – I have two actually. One has Humbuckers and the other has P90s. I tend to use the Humbuckers more. And they both have Bigsby’s which I had always wanted. I also have a beautiful 12 string from Hanson too! Acoustically, I still have my old Maton which is a road warrior. Once you plug in an acoustic guitar, it’s often about the pick-up and Maton pick-ups are killer. That guitar is about to fall apart though so I’m on the lookout for a new one. For recording, I usually try to borrow guitars from wealthy friends who own old Gibsons, Martins etc. 😉

  • Name a great recording including in the title 1/ Red 2/ Green 3/ Blue (artist / title / source album for each please) and explain why chosen

David Olney ‘Red Guitar’ Predicting The Past

You have to see him play this song live with Sergio Webb doing the lead guitar – it’s one of the best guitar solos I have ever seen. I just love this song – it’s supernatural, poetic, rockin’. I might do a cover some day.

David Sylvian ‘Red Guitar’ Brilliant Trees

Same title, I love this song too – really stays with you after all these years.

The Lemon Pipers ‘Green Tambourine’ Green Tambourine

I love this psychedelic arrangement and style. Another song that stays with you for a long time.

Lucinda Williams ‘Greenville’ Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

So evocative and Emmy Lou sings back up.

Miles Davis ‘Blue In Green’ Kind Of Blue

Just love this whole album but this track in particular is so beautiful. Bill Evans on piano – one of my favourites.

  • Name a TV series where the theme music was better than the actual shows and do you know who created or recorded it?

I have a theory that show can only succeed if the theme music is great. Shows like Dexter and Grimm have terrific soundtracks. Nanny and the Professor – by the Addrissis Brothers is top notch 60s style pop. And you can’t go past Harry Nilsson’s ‘Best Friend’ for The Courtship Of Eddie’s Friend. And what about The Andy Griffin Show – that’s one that lasts. Beverly Hillbillies of course played by Flatt and Scruggs. Now you’ve got me going and I’m realising what a big influence this music has been on me, even including My Three Sons. Darn!

  • Which song of yours do you find yourself explaining the most? Why is that?

I haven’t had to explain any songs for a while – they must be becoming clearer. I think ‘Stupid’ has hit home with a lot of people because we all feel like that sometimes and ’50 Dollar Whore’ seems to strike a chord with men, but I’ve rarely had to explain a song.

  • A recording that makes you laugh ….intentionally or otherwise! (artist /track/source album)

Fats Waller ‘Your Feets Too Big’ The Swing Years

“Your pedal extremities are colossal, to me you look just like a fossil”

  • Name an album or a couple of albums where the cover or artwork could have been better, in your humble opinion….give any thoughts around this

A lot of self-releases could have more artistic artwork. They don’t call it ARTwork for nuthin’! I think that’s one detail people forget about. Just because someone knows how to use photoshop doesn’t mean they are an artist. Just because someone owns a camera, doesn’t mean they are a photographer. I try to include real artist’s work in my album packaging. Give a local artist a go!

  • Best rock’n’roll swagger recording NOT by The Rolling Stones (artist/track/source album)

I don’t know if it’s rock’n’roll enough for you but I like it’s swagger –

‘Fade Into You’ Mazzy Starr So Tonight That I Might See

  •  Boz Scaggs and Bonnie Raitt record a duet – what song do they sing and who backs them?

Naturally I would put myself forward as a guitarist. Maybe they should sing ‘Close’ by Nick Jonas, ‘Devoted To You’ by the Everly Brothers or ’Homeward Bound.’ I’m really pulling at straws for this one! ;_) Record here in Nashville of course. Deanie Richardson on fiddle. Dave Raven on drums. I could maybe play cheatin’ banjo. Dave Pomeroy on upright bass for sure! And Carl Byron on piano.

I am rarely jealous given the many artists I meet, BUT you know Jorma Kaukonen?!!! Wow – I saw Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, what a great musician.

  • Do you have any favourite recordings by him? What’s he like?

He was lovely. He has a beautiful music Ranch somewhere in Ohio. I also ran into him at a Hendrix Tribute Concert in Australia. I love that early Jefferson Airplane stuff. ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit.’ He plays lovely music to this day!

  • An acoustic gem? What song/tune and who by? What’s the appeal?

Neil Young ‘Old Man’ – his guitar always sounds AMAZING. Nick Drake ‘Pink Moon’ album – just love those dead strings and his uniquely English way of playing the blues. Blackbird – I love the sound of Paul’s voice on that one as well as the guitar playing.

  • Is there a song that both you and your Mum or Dad really like? Or liked?

‘Your Feets Too Big’ Fats Waller – my Dad.

‘My Sweet Lord’ – my Mum.

  • Best 2nd or follow up album of all time and why? ( I love The Doors ‘Strange Days’)

I listened to Ray LaMontagne’s ‘Till The Sun Turns Black’ a lot.

  • Suggest an ‘expanded edition’ album release where the additional cuts impress you…and why?

I don’t generally like expanded edition. I just want to hear the album the way it was meant to be. For instance, the way they sped up ‘Kind Of Blue’ when it was perfect the way it was. BUT, the one exception is ‘Hunky Dory’ by David Bowie because it had all the acoustic demos on it and I listened to those ALOT. The acoustic guitars sound huge and magical.

  • Name an actor or actress who made a listenable song recording – and what’s the appeal?

I love Richard Harris singing ‘McArthur Park’ and I love Elizabeth Taylor singing ‘Send In The Clowns.’ I love singers who aren’t too polished – you can hear the person, not just the technician. I also loved hearing Ewan McGregor sing in Moulin Rouge and Christopher Plummer singing ‘Edelweiss’ is to die for.

  • Where are you planning to tour next?

For the next album I’d like to go to Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal. I’m going to include a Spanish version of a song and a Portugese version of a song on the next album. And I still haven’t been to Japan!

  • One of my favourite memories is standing in the Borderline when two male metal herberts came up next to me and sneered when they saw a female was about to play…along with dear Davey Bronze and Chris Thomas you launched into Jimi’s ‘Machine Gun’..they went pale…do you remember that gig?

Yes, that was a fantastic gig! I used to love playing at The Borderline. I later saw Dave Bronze playing bass on the George Harrison tribute concert! That was a great rhythm section for me – Pete has since moved to Texas. He used to play with Robert Plant. I love playing with rockers, even on my swing stuff – Gene Krupa, after all, was one of the first rock drummers. And before jazz got cerebral after WWII, it was basically rock music. Good time dance music.

  • Which of your own recordings show you at your most a/ aggressive b/ relaxed c/ confused

Aggressive: Roll, Broken Promise land

Relaxed: East Of Electric

Confused: All of them?

Pete Sargeant

Anne McCue’s new album ‘Blue Sky Thinkin’ is out now. For more information visit her official website here:

(Thanks Anne)