Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Elizabeth McQueen

Today in Music History:

Born on this day in 1953, Alan Longmuir from the Bay City Rollers
Elizabeth McQueenA lot of the readers of Good Rockin' have educated homercat about new and old music. They've also introduced the cat to music he's unfamiliar with both old and new. Such is the case with Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands. Jeff pointed me towards her website which has a few mp3's for download. Since he recommended her, I snagged all the tunes she had available to download. Since then I've had the chance to really listen to them seriously and I'm really enjoying them. Now I've got to get a hold of her two albums. With a sound somewhere between Patsy Cline and roots rock, McQueen has a great voice, the band is tight, and they've got a sound that is distinctively their own.

Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands hail from Austin, Texas. Their second album, Happy Doing What We’re Doing, pays tribute to the music of England’s pre-punk/pre-new wave roots music scene known as "pub rock." Paying homage to such great acts as Graham Parker, Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, Squeeze and many others. Now I'm just going to reprint some stuff from her bio page. I can not take credit for writing this.

Among the bands whose songs she covers is Eggs Over Easy, the American group that moved to England and talked the governor of their local pub into letting them play there. Then the English band Brinsley Schwarz heard them and decided to do the same thing and perform in pubs. In their wake followed such diverse acts like Ducks Deluxe, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Dr. Feelgood, the Kursaal Flyers and many others, none of whom ever made much impact across the pond in America, though the songs by their members that McQueen covers here might make you scratch your noggin and wonder why.

And when British new wave and punk followed in the wake of pub rock, many of the musicians who cut their teeth in the scene began to break through. It was McQueen's affection for Costello, Squeeze, Graham Parker and Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe and their band Rockpile that led her to pub rock in the first place. Rounding it all out is her own "Dirty Little Secret," written (with Wendy Mitchell) in the spirit of pub rock. "It's happy music and I dig it," she explains. "And I dig it so much that I went back and learned all I could about it. It's total labor of love."
Here's a taste if you've never heard of her.

Cruel to Be Kind by Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands
Buy It

This tune and a cover of Ian Dury's What a Waste are available from her website, but do not appear on the album. There are also a few more there if you should want to head on over and check out a few more tunes or to learn more about her. Thanks for the heads up Jeff.

Funny Toon