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Album Review

After self-releasing a six-song CD in Portland, McKinley added six more tracks to the collection and released this self-titled debut in 1995 on Burnside Records. Combining folk and jazz into a torchy chamber folk, the singer/songwriter and bassist uses her dreamily seductive voice and some decent musical chops to create a truly rich and unique sound. Joining McKinley on this national debut release are musicians Steve Hale (guitar), Marty Jennings (violin), James Smith (cello), Wendy Karden (flute), and drummer/percussionist Brian Davis. A more complimentary group of players couldn't be found, as these musicians have an engaging affect on the singer's compositions that is necessarily subtle, yet well-defined. The softly swinging "Bottom of the Sea" and "One Bare Nail" are elegant standouts with their delicate changes and interwoven melodies that almost boil beneath McKinley's jazz-influenced vocals. A respectable debut, McKinley was followed up by a much stronger offering, Big Top Shop Talk, that should probably be the first purchase for new fans looking for something rich, listenable, and solidly artistic.


Born: Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Folk-pop singer/songwriter McKinley was born in Seattle but raised at various points including Alaska and San Francisco. While studying mechanical engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she played in a local band, and after graduation moved to London. After returning stateside in 1997, McKinley accepted an engineering position, only to be contacted just days later by the...
Full Bio
McKinley, McKinley
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