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Stacie Collins

Sometimes Ya Gotta
Rev Records
 

The list of people who call themselves “professional harmonica players” certainly is not all that long. And the number of female harmonica players… well, beyond Stacie Collins, I can’t think of one.

On her third CD, Collins demonstrates not only her ability to blow harp, but her songwriting, singing, and band-leading chops.

Collins’ music is basically Southern blues-rock with a booze-tinged edge. The opening tune, “Hey Mister,” kicks off this CD with a straight-ahead boogie beat and brassy “wall of sound” harmonica. The second tune, “I Won’t Do You Like That,” slows the beats per minute but rocks just as intensely, with sizzling guitars by Dan Baird and Eric Borash pushed along by Jimmy Lester’s drums and Al Collins’ punchy bass lines.

What separates Collins’ music from the hundreds of other Southern rock acts? First, she’s a woman playing music that’s typically the provenance of hairy guys. Second, her music has more subtlety than mere kick-ass bar-band music. Third, her songwriting is also above average for the genre. No, don’t expect her to bare her soul lyrically – most of the subject matter is cheatin’/ lovin’/drinkin’. But Collins knows enough to keep it fresh. Her melodies are bluesy with ample use of the one, four, and five chords. The difference
is the sound of her voice; instead of a big ol’ bullhorn, hers is a more delicate tool, more like what you’d expect from a country singer such as Allison Moorer.

If you’re ready to rock, Stacie Collins is willing and able, with her special honky-tonk recipe.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Mar. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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