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Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Ethereal, jazz, eclectic/evocative, alternative pop; goner has a more folk than jazz flavour.


Most recent release, Gracie and the Atom (2008)

See also:

McKinley's Site


Goner only: Bic Runga, Lisa Loeb, Zoe Lewis, Frente, The Sundays.

Covers/own material:

Own and co-written

General comments:

(1994) I have been playing and playing this CD shortie (6 songs) by a local Portland, Oregon, artist named simply McKinley and trying to figure out what to say to encourage people to seek her out. I am at a loss! I can't compare her to anyone in particular; the sound of one or two tracks could be considered jazzish, maybe an artist can be pigeonholed by the instrument they play—in McKinley's case, it's acoustic bass. What can I say? She's interesting, she's unique. Give a listen.
     (1998)Now she releases a new CD on a label with some funding behind it and I can only hope that she has a chance to make it this time. Samson is also Happy Rhodes' new label!
     (2003) McKinley has a new band and a new CD out, a full-length 10 tracks, released July 18. She also has a proper web site now, although I am leaving my fan site up as well. On her site you can download two tracks from the CD, as well as a link to buy it and her previous two from CDBaby. She is performing locally in Portland, Oregon again and her site keeps an updated list of her appearances. (

McKinley has a lovely light girlish voice. Due to their differing styles, it's possible to like Goner but not her other albums, or vice versa. In an article in the Sunday Oregonian McKinley expressed her original discomfort with the prettiness and musical simplicity of Goner, and people who liked her earlier stuff may find this one a bit boring. (

Recommended first album:

Big Top Shop Talk if you like jazzy pop stylings; goner if you're a soft folky pop fan


McKinley EP

Release info:

1994—Agent Gracie Records, mfd/dist by Vortex Entertainment, PO Box 48632, Los Angeles, CA 90048


Almost impossible outside the Pacific NW of the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended if you like soft jazzish pop

Big Top Shop Talk

Release info:

1998—Samson Records—GC0128


Wide on release; now available from CDBaby

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended


I bought this because it was discussed on the ecto mailing list and even better than I had hoped for! Check her out! (

She covers "When Doves Cry." It's not as good of a cover as some other Prince covers I've heard. *Anyway,* only given the McKinley album one listen, but I liked it OK. Nothing really grabbed me, but I'll give a few more whirls before making opinion. (


Release info:



See website for availability

Ecto priority:


Group members:

McKinley—vocals, some acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Tracy Kim—most of the guitar
Bernardo Gomez—acoustic bass
Joe Janiga—drums on 7 tracks
Mike Snyder—drums on 3 tracks
Bob Stark—Rhodes, electric bass, a little guitar, backing vocals, tidbits
Tim Ellis—acoustic guitar on 1 track
Clay Giberson—piano

Produced by:

Bob Stark


This album is a charming surprise, lovely off-kilter melancholy pop with gentle acoustic-centred arrangements. The album is thematic—in most of the songs she leaves, others leave her, or she becomes less and less herself. McKinley's voice is full of character, bright and somewhat girlish, with a strong American accent; it reminds me of a disenchanted Frente, or Zoe Lewis without the giddy humour.
     My favourite tracks are the opening fragile pair—'Tired' and 'Goner,' and then I like the final three songs. The last two are the main change of pace in this steady quiet album—'Whistling' ends with louder urgent guitars, and the lonely nighttime drive of 'Stranger's Windows' is atmospheric with tinkling bells and noises like a creeping bowed instrument, creating a theatrical slightly spaghetti western feel. The album sags a bit in the middle.
     If the going, gone, goner subjects of the songs appeal to you in your current mood, you could love this album; it might seem a bit too slight and similar otherwise, but you may find yourself humming along anyway. (

Thanks to Michael Pearce and Karen Hester for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2011-04-17 18:48:34.
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