Under The Radar Music: Lone Justice/Maria McKee

Emerging from the “Cowpunk” scene of L.A. in 1982, Lone Justice was fronted by one of the great female vocalists of the 1980s, Maria McKee. After their signing to the Geffen label at the urging of Linda Ronstadt, they recorded their self-titled debut album in 1985. This yielded the Tom Petty/Mike Campbell-penned hit “Ways To Be Wicked”:

Despite critical acclaim, the album failed to sell and the group took another shot the following year with their second LP “Shelter”. The title cut got some airplay, but peaked at #47 on the Billboard chart:

From that same album, here’s an energetic live version of “I Found Love”:

Unfortunately the band never went farther than that. If you have these two albums, you have their entire discography. After they called it a day in 1987, Maria McKee struck out on her own as a solo performer and recorded a string of critically lauded but little-known albums. One of my faves from her eponymous debut is “This Property Is Condemned”, featuring blistering guitar-work from Richard Thompson:

Maria’s still out there doing her thing, and should you run across one of her solo albums or a Lone Justice album in your favorite record store, it is well worth picking up. Catch ya next time! – Bobbo 🙂


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