Lone Justice

Lone Justice have featured on this blog before with their cover of Sweet Jane. The couple of tracks posted today come from their self titled first album, which is an absolute gem, very rough with Maria McKee’s vocal delivery not dissimilar to Janis Joplin’s.

I first saw Lone Justice on the Whistle Test and something about them got me interested. I can’t remember just what it was, as country rock or cowpunk as some music journalist labelled them was not the sort of thing that I was listening to at the time ( I think I spent much of 1985 with Psychocandy on repeat). Something made my go to Glasgow in search of the album which did not disappoint on first listen and still sounded good at the weekend when I played it again for the first time in ages. It doesn’t sound quite as raw now as I thought it did but McKee’s vocal sounds as good as ever, she really can belt it out.

Lone Justice went on to make a second album which was not a patch on the first, it sounded too smooth, too well produced. I blame Bonzo, I blame him for a lot of things but this time with some justification. After the critical success of the first album Lone Justice went on tour with the Irish band and McKee started hanging about with them, then they go into the studio and produce a bland soulless album, coincidence? I think not.

Shortly after the release of the second album, McKee broke up the band and embarked on a solo career. The first 2 albums of which are excellent, however the following 2 I couldn’t get into at all and haven’t bothered with anything since.

Interesting fact or possibly not, Ricky Ross wrote Real Gone Kid about McKee after Deacon Blue supported Lone Justice.

Lone Justice – After The Flood

Lone Justice – Ways To Be Wicked

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4 Responses to Lone Justice

  1. Cowhut says:

    I bought this album on the back of the Whistle Test performance as well. Been a follower of Maria McKee ever since. She still has a great voice but her work is patchy , some really outstanding stuff and some right dross. Late December- her most recent is ptetty good.

  2. Stevie Rooney says:

    Was at the Lone Justice gig at the QM in GLasgow where the little known Deacon Blue supported. Being a card carrying, fringed jacketed EK Roddy fan, i idolised her country rock roots. My mate who was studying at Glasgow Uni at the time told me where to stand to intercept them when they trooped off. So I duly got to put my arm round her as they came offstage, heading for the lifts and all I could produce was 'well played Maria'. What a fanny. Anyway she produced one of the best live vocal performances i”ve ever heard. Blew me away. Didn't she end up going out with the wee nyaff from Texas not long afterwards? Don't Toss Us Away is a heartbreaker. What a girl. Thanks for the memories.

  3. Simon says:

    I watched that Whistle Test you mention and thought they were brilliant. The first LJ album is excellent, but her Life Is Sweet album is probably my favourite of the solo albums, especially Absolutely Barking Stars, which is kind of a cross between Lone Justice and Ziggy era Bowie.

    Meanwhile Deacon Blue…Raintown was for a while a bit of an obsession. Haven't listened to it for years. I once wrote a fan letter and ended up in correspondence with Lorraine which was a little weird! One of these days I might write about that album…

  4. JC says:

    Christ…I thought I was the only one who bought the album after said Whistle Test performance.

    I reckon that shows just how starved we were of quality music TV in those days, and when something trult exceptional came on, we tended to do something about it (the same thing happened for me the time I saw Martin Stephenson & The Daintees on Whistle Test).

    The Top Gun thingy lost Maria a lot of cred mind you….much the same way as The Breakfast Club had a bad impact on Simple Minds.

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