I first discovered Stacie Collins in 2000 when I saw an advert for her debut album in No Depression that stated ‘The #1 Blues Harmonica Player in Tennessee’ (and she looked kinda cute too). The resulting rooting and tooting Alt-Country album shook me to the core and I’ve been an unashamed fan ever since.
I’ve only ever seen her play live once before; when she supported Dan Baird at the same venue two years ago; so the prospect of seeing her and the new band actually record a live DVD and CD was too good to miss. Caution was thrown to the wind and a hotel was booked and the car filled with petrol for the 300 mile round trip.
Fans had travelled from across the UK (and 3 from Europe) to see the Queen of Roadhouse Country and the roar of acclaim when she ran onto stage in skin tight denims, sexy chiffon blouse and trademark black Stetson nearly blew my ear drums.
The first set kicked off with Baby Sister and the first three cramped rows were immediately punching the air and singing along with every word.
Another three of the rockingest Country songs you’ll ever hear followed; until Stacie finally took a breathe as she introduced the title track of her second album; Lucky Spot by telling us it was the story of the night her father first met her mother at a bar called the Lucky Spot and boy; did it sound like a sassy night!
This was followed by a great new song, Better Get In Line which had a bump n’ grind beat that the shy Ms Collins took advantage of by swishing her tush much to the delight of the men at the front and she made harmonica playing sexy; which is a sight to behold.
After a short break, when lights and cameras were adjusted, the second set started with the loud and funky Tied to You from SOMETIMES YA GOTTA and the already excited fans now seemed to be dancing/swaying/sweating as one, in time to the band.
Halfway through this half; Stacie announced that there was a special guest in the house tonight and much to the audience’s surprise and delight Paul Guerin from the Quireboys joined them on-stage for Don’t Doubt Me Now, which really did put the Rock into Alt-Country.
As the hirsute Geordie finally left the stage the band cranked up the gears yet again with Ain’t Got You during which Stacie jumped off stage, mid-harmonica solo and wandered through the crowd until she eventually appeared on the balcony; never missing a note on the harp! She belted out a couple of verses from the Gods then mysteriously appeared behind, then actually on the bar – Coyote Ugly style!
The final hour ended with an outrageous version of Ooh! Las Vegas which segued into Jumping Jack Flash and back again before ending with the stomping, Show Your Mama which was as good a rocking Blues as Janis Joplin ever performed.
What else can I tell you? Stacie’s husband Al Collins on bass and drummer Brad Cummings gave a powerhouse performance in the boiler room allowing Jason Graumlich to play the guitar hero to Stacie’s sexy Rock Singer – what a night!
by Alan Harrison
No Depression Magazine