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You Gotta Sin to Get Saved

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iTunes Review

After the splintering of her band Lone Justice in the late 1980s, singer Maria McKee took some years to find her way artistically. You Gotta Sin To Get Saved (1993) was more than a return to form — it marked her full emergence as an artist in command of her talents. While the album reunited her with former bandmates Marvin Etzioni and Don Heffington, its approach was a step away from the neo-L.A. country rock of her Lone Justice days. McKee wades into steamy R&B terrain on “I’m Gonna Sooth You” and rises to glorious gospel heights on “I Forgive You.” Much of the album invokes the Woodstock-era sounds of the Band and Van Morrison — “My Girlhood Among The Outlaws” in particular strikes a roots-rock note. (The sonic link with Morrison is made explicit by a pair of well-rendered Van the Man covers as well.) The title track is a fiercely woozy New Orleans sing-along that lets Maria wail with the abandon of a not-quite-sorry sinner. And, yes, there is a honky-tonk tune (“Only Once”) to please her older fans. An ambitious creative stretch, You Gotta Sin To Get Saved remains McKee’s best-realized work.

Customer Reviews

You Gotta Love A Girl Who Sings Van Morrison Songs...

Yet Maria's own songs carry her well. This woman is smart, and her lyrics often reveal that strength. Reward yourself with this whole album.

You gotta sin to be saved

Maria McKee is one of the greatest artists. She sings her soul out on every song. Her writing is tremendous. You don't see this much talent out there today. Don't stop Maria!

Sin to Get Saved is a testimonial of Maria's talents

I have loved Maria since the early Lone Justice days. I am so grateful that she has continued solo. She is a soulful firecracker with an immense sensitivity that can pack a punch and make you weep. Sassafrass delight. This album features a stellar cover of Dusty Springfield's "I can't make it alone". My favorite is "They way young lovers do" which is a rollicking tribute to passionate lustful youth. Yee-hah! My recommendation is that you explore all of Maria's work... Check out Lone Justice, too. I lover her solo, but her work with Lone Justice should not be dismissed!


Born: August 17, 1964 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After making her name as the gritty, soulful lead singer of roots rockers Lone Justice, Maria McKee embarked on an often-rewarding solo career. A native of Los Angeles, McKee was born in 1964; her half-brother was Bryan MacLean, the guitarist and sometime singer of the groundbreaking psychedelic band Love. After studying musical theater as a teenager, McKee started performing on the L.A. club scene in a duo with MacLean and also teamed up with local blues singer Top Jimmy (who inspired the Van Halen...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Maria McKee