Maria McKee – Nobody’s Child

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{ photo by prolific, click to enlarge }

When I mention Maria Mckee, people think I mean Mariah Carey. Or perhaps they’ll know they’re two different people, but they will still call her ‘Mariah’. Take it from me, Maria’s the better singer.

I have a thing for unmarketable, underappreciated, low profile artists. It’s their bloody mindedness that makes them all of that. Somewhere, some time at some point in their flaky careers, they made a decision to only sing what they mean and then only when they mean it.

They’ll go where their eclectic minds take them, they follow their instincts, they let themselves be influenced by artists outside of their own box, they’ll cross genres and fuck genres and they’ll change. All of that makes them a record company’s nightmare.

Maria McKee is like that. Making her own choices and going her own way has doomed her to permanent ‘cult’ status, and very much a artists’ artist. Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross wrote two songs about her, ‘Real Gone Kid’, and ‘Love’s Great Fears’. Tom Petty, Robbie Robertson, Dylan, U2… they’ve all sung her praises.

I’ve seen Maria play live a number of times. A restless girl, she seems unfocused. She takes the stage as if she can’t be bothered and would much rather be somewhere else. She struggles with guitar straps, mutters to herself. There doesn’t seem to be a big plan. Then she starts singing, and you realise all her focus is in the voice.

Three songs:

Maria lived in Dublin for a while, feeling at home in the scene at the time, with U2, the Waterboys, Moby Dick, the Hothouse Flowers and the Black Velvet Band. Now she’s back in L.A., alive and well and recently married. She’s got a new album on the shelf, but at present, she has no record deal. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a bloody shame.


One thought on “Maria McKee – Nobody’s Child

  1. Damn, that’s a pity. I suspect that “Life Is Sweet” managed to piss off both the record company and those fans expecting a set of smoothly-produced ballads. I still find it an astonishing, brave, glorious album, that will be on my playlist for many years to come.

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