LONE JUSTICE – ” Lone Justice ” Classic Albums 1985

Posted: March 4, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Lone Justice Lead singer Maria McKee: “Barely out of her teens, she comes on with a spitfire defiance and a repertoire of yelps, growls, and shouts that are the essence of country spunk.” Three decades later, This classic debut album Lone Justice still sounds like an astonishingly precocious debut for McKee, even if the band sometimes sets up obstacles for her to leap over (she always does), and the production tilts the whole enterprise toward mainstream rock (especially on Tom Petty’s “Ways To Be Wicked”, which could be an outtake from an ’80s Heartbreakers album like Long After Dark). No matter. From the moment she steps up to the mic on the opening phrases of “East Of Eden”,  McKee is a dynamo in a lineage that includes singers like Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Linda Ronstadt when she was still in the Stone Poneys .

There the rousing Soap Soup and Salvation , playing the part of a save-my-land heroine on After The Flood, or trying to salvage a failing relationship on the touching ballad Don’t Toss Us Away  (written by her brother Bryan MacLean, who was a member of the seminal L.A. band Love) , McKee never missteps. She can break the momentum of a line, slip out for a half-spoken interjection, then fall right back into the melody, and nothing seems to rattle her. From the moment they appeared on the club circuit, the buzz on Lone Justice spread cross-country rapidly, so anticipation was high for this first album, and for their animated live shows, which often would include a take on Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane that was a twang-infused hybrid, punk-country with a touch of the Rolling Stones around the time of  Let It Bleed . Lone Justice aren’t spoken about much these days; you wonder how big they might’ve gotten if there were such a thing as “Americana” in the mid-’80s. check out this live set in 1985 at the Ritz in New York City.

The Band

Additional personnel

  • Mike Campbell  – guitar
  • Tony Gilkyson – guitar
  • Bob Glaub – bass
  • Little Steven – guitar, rhythm guitar
  • Benmont Tench – organ, piano, keyboard, background vocals
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