Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands

Happy Doing What We're Doing (Freedom Records)

A while ago, my enchantment with the Austin blues-rock scene wore off. After popping in Elizabeth McQueen's disc, my first thought was: "Oh, shit, not another one." And yet, Austin singer-songwriter McQueen has a cool idea brewin' here. On her latest album, she and her boys cover classic pub-rock tracks by Elvis Costello ("Almost Blue"), Squeeze ("Annie Get Your Gun"), Nick Lowe ("When I Write the Book" and "That's It, I Quit"), Graham Parker ("Local Girls") and others. Putting a Southern tweak on Brit rock is an intriguing idea, and the musicianship here is tight. Then again, it's good to note McQueen and company are Happy Doing What We're Doing, because, well, I'm not so into it.

 
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