The cover might look like a rejected panel from Marvel Comics Goes to the Rodeo, but there’s nothing cartoonish about Stacie Collins’ Sometimes Ya Gotta… – it’s actually 45 minutes of beer-soaked rock ‘n’ roll, as sweaty and hard-charging as the bull in the picture, fueled by some wonderfully raw production from Dan Baird and topped off with Collins’ throaty howl and fiery harmonica. I was personally reminded of early ’90s Next Big Thing Kelly Willis, to whom Collins bears a strong vocal resemblance — but where Willis has always been a little reluctant to explore the honky-tonk side of the spectrum, Collins knows how to throw a juke joint party. Listen closely enough, and you might even hear the clink of empties. Recommended for anyone who loves the raw, country-tinged rock of acts like Jason & the Scorchers (who Collins has toured with) or Terry Anderson — or people who, like me, will buy anything Dan Baird-related in the hopes that he’ll eventually be grateful enough to make a full-scale Georgia Satellites reunion happen — Sometimes Ya Gotta… is that rarest of modern-day beasts: a joyous, vibrant, ass-kicking rock ‘n’ roll record, with the songs to match the attitude. Play it loud, and play it often.
You don’t come across too many female honky-tonk firebrands, let alone one who also blows a nasty harmonica. So in that sense Stacie Collins stands out from the get-go. Team her with producer Dan Baird, the former Georgia Satellites front man, and a band that includes Baird and Jason and the Scorchers’ Warner E. Hodges on guitars, and you’ve got somebody who, in a better world, would be a big star.
When it comes down to rich Roots Rock with southern Boogie, Blues and some Country influences, Stacie Collins is already a well known name in the States. Her new rough and rowdy-rock sound here has been enhanced by Dan Baird’s (Georgia Satellites) production. And Stacie sings, screams, gospels like she is trying to save her soul, wrote all songs with her husband (bassist in Jason & The Scorchers) and partially composed with co-writers like Tommy Womack, Warner E. Hodges and Charlie Moore.
“The image of Nashville may be forever scarred by the mainstream “country music” industry (not to mention the Christian Contemporary machine), but that doesn’t mean Music City doesn’t have plenty of other things going on. Stacie Collins, for instance. The singer/writer/harmonica blower eschews anything approaching slick on Sometimes Ya Gotta…, an asskicking roots rock record. Collins and co-writer/hubby/ bassist Al let straightforward lyrics, easy melodies and guitar riffs out the wazoo tell the stories, from the blues-hammering “Cool” and the countrified “Little Things” to the zydeco-flavored “Carry Me Away” and the soulful “It Hurts to Breathe.” Rock & roll is Collins’ main meat, though, as “Tied To You,” “Don’t Doubt Me Now” and “Lend the Devil a Hand” make perfectly plain. In that mode she owes obvious debts to Jason the Scorchers and the Georgia Satellites, but that’s only natural, given that the Satellites’ Dan Baird produced and both he and Scorcher Warner E. Hodges spray their six-string sizzle all over the record. Given that there aren’t nearly enough powerhouse Americana LPs like Sometimes Ya Gotta… in the world, let alone coming from Nashville, Collins standing proudly in the tradition of such great bands is hardly a fault, is it?
“12 tracks of barnstorming rock and roll, with really good song-writing matched by great production and even better performances…Too many highpoints to mention, but quite apart from all the other wonders, Stacie’s best vocals on record yet, hooks to hang your hat on, the best-Stones-intro-the-Stones-never-played on “Don’t Doubt Me Now”…”
USA TODAY Highlights
Ten intriguing tracks found during the week’s listening including “I Won’t Do Ya Like That” by Stacie Collins. “A honky-tonk angel, flanked by Jason & the Scorchers guitarist Warner Hodges and the Georgia Satellites’ Dan Baird.”
“I was lucky enough to catch Stacie at the Iota Club in Arlington in October with Jason & The Scorchers. She did a sound check two hours before the main set started that tore the roof off the place, singing “Tied To You”. Whoa! That sold me right there, but then she came on and did another four-song set with the band while Jason Ringenberg was taking a break, and there wasn’t a single song in the set where she didn’t give 110%, as clichéd as that may sound. The songs on this CD tend to rock harder than those on The Lucky Spot, but there’s some nice laid-back country songs on it as well, if you prefer her softer side. Highly recommended for fans of Jason & the Scorchers and everyone else who likes their country with a healthy helping of rock, or vice versa.”
“I don’t know how to define the music of Stacie Collins other than say it’s very good. There are times on this disc that rocks out with a vengeance, similar to Pat Benatar or Joan Jett. Just as soon as you say the term “Rock Queen,” she can sashay into a Country sounding tune that would make Dolly or Loretta smile with pride. Basically, Collins cooks no matter what she does. She has an attitude & a confidence all her own, & it works & works well. Where Stacie Collins goes from here is up to… Stacie Collins. I think she has a huge chance to make it in mainstream country… if that’s what she chose, but if she did that, she might have to tone down her act just a little… and scorching songs like the raunchy (not lyrically actually, but vocally) “The Very Last Time” would be the exception rather than the rule and that would be a shame! So keep up doing what you’re doing, Stacie Collins! It works!”