Monday, October 5, 2009

Spotlight: Album Reviews 04- Maria McKee, You Gotta Sin to be Saved

Shame on me.

Early this morning, from 4:15am to 5:00am as my car floated down I295 in Maine from Augusta to Portland on my way to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (that's MHT, y'all) for a 7:30am flight, I did something I should have done sixteen years ago. I listened to Maria Mckee's "You Gotta Sin to be Saved" for the first time.

It started off with soul, as only Maria can deliver, and drifted into blues, country, more soul, and more emotion. Here and again a song would start weak and I'd think "here's the filler." but without fail I'd be singing along by the end of the song. Ooh, and the guitar solos were, at times, to borrow from William Miller in Almost Famous, "incin... incidi...incendiary!"

When I find an artist I really love, like, say, Aimee Mann or Mark Knopfler, and I discover they have a pretty extensive catalog, I like to savor each album individually for a period of months before adding the next one. This I had done with Maria. Her eponymous first solo album has been with me from mixed tapes (yeah, remember those?) to mixed cds to playlists. Somewhere in the early 200os I picked up "Life is Sweet" and was so frightened by it that I only listened to it once. But as I got a Zunepass, all you can eat downloads for the price of a CD each month, I found more maria releases and have enjoyed "Peddlin' Dreams" and "Late December" over the last few years.

"You Gotta Sin to be Saved"'s turn came up last month when some YouTubing led me to watching some live Lone Justice videos from back in the day,* which led to some Zune searching which led to reading some reviews which led to me realizing that I'd completely missed it. Down it came onto the Zune.

If I had not procrastinated so long, this would have been one of those albums that's always in heavy rotation; that always gets played.

I wasted sixteen years. Please, don't you make the same mistake and let sixteen good years go to waste.

*Maria made her debut with Lone Justice in the mid to late eighties. Find the live video of "I Found Love" and you'll be a fan. That or you have no soul. Or Maria's got so much she must have borrowed some from you...

Here, I found it for you.

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