Recorded in the San Fernando Valley, "This Is Lone Justice" introduces McKee & Co. with a combination of covers and originals. Among the classics they tackle are Merle Haggard's "Working Man's Blues," the George Jones/Roger Miller song "Nothing Can Stop My Loving You" and the oft-recorded "Jackson." The song selection suggests a band that had internalized a heck of a lot of country ideas at a young age.
McKee, after all, was only 18 when this stuff was recorded, and her youth is most obvious in the cut-and-paste Dust Bowl-themed lyrics that dot the originals here. Still, the virtuosity within "The Grapes of Wrath," "Dustbowl Depression Time" and "Soap, Soup and Salvation" presents a confident mix of yowling twang and a heavy backbeat (courtesy of drummer Don Heffington and bassist Marvin Etzioni) that eclipses lesser lines.
Overshadowing all, though, is McKee, whose voice sounds like that of a young Dolly Parton fueled by Exene Cervenka's passion. "Working Man's Blues" especially reveals her natural-born way around a line. It's one thing to hit the notes, another thing altogether to manifest them so completely.
"This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983"