Well it ain’t many times around here that we get presented with an act as purely rooted as this. Naughty ‘n’ Nice from Nashville, Tennessee we get the hot ‘n’ raunchy Stacie Collins and her band that features on Bass, Al Collins (also of Jason & The Scorchers); Jason Graumlich on Guitar & Drummer, Brad Cummings.
There’s an immense amount of energy up that small stage from the gutsy get-go and the peeps in here get fired up with knockout hard ‘n’ kickin’ country, blues and rock sounds from this amazing 4 piece band who actually ended up playing two sets since the support band was a no-show. They are so tight and you can tell that they simply live and breath the gorgeous sounds that are often lazily termed Americana. Stacie hardly seems to stop still for more than about 2 or 3 seconds, stomping around on those boards, giving some aerodynamic high kicks that only cowgirls and maybe cheerleaders can do – which is solidly even the more so impressive in those real deal leather boots she is wearing.
Then there’s the honky-tonk moves that give the likes of The Dukes Of Hazzard’s ‘Daisy Duke’ a clear run for her dollars – in fact it’s like we have been transported back to Boss Hogs ‘Boars Nest’ but tonight there’s no fight just a gang of folk who are lapping up some extremely enjoyable Tennessee brewed tunes (some even produced by none other than Dan Baird) and no doubt wishing they could witness a band like this at least once a week. The guys in question didn’t note-drop once no matter how fast or intricate they played and provided solid ‘n’ sweet backing vocals throughout the night. We even got a song from Al Collins too to give Stacie a break but she backs up on harp all the same.
Stacie’s vocals are very full and lush and needless to say extremely authentic and then there’s the phenomenal harp playing to consider as well which is fast, ferocious and frighteningly full-on with those shrill, screaming notes reigning over all what is going on in the background. She’s the best blower I’ve ever heard when it comes to this type of organ! It sounds even more impressive since she uses a harp mike that’s had plenty of hammer but does the job perfectly. Mrs. Collins swaps them harps between songs and even manages to get close to the sound of a piano accordion in one instance too for ‘Carry Me Away’.
She’s one not to keep the rockin’ out to the stage and joins us in the audience area, dancing alongside the fans and playing plenty of harp on our level too before climbing up onto the right speaker and kicks wailing ass on there, ensuring not to bang her head on the high speaker that many of us are guilty of. Between songs she talks a plenty and even jokes that she’s glad we speak English as when she is in Germany they don’t understand what she’s saying and want her to play the songs instead. Jason had a guitar cable problem at one point but while he was sorting it Stacie took care of the solos by harping them instead – true professionals indeed and even joked about him coming out too – haha – but not like that and says sorry to a member of the audience for it.
Song wise it’s a nice repertoire of numbers from all of her albums with plenty coming from current release ‘Sometimes You Gotta’ that include the awesome groovier ‘Hey Mister’ that opens the album ‘I Won’t Do You Like That’ about dealing with being dumped by somebody and the classic rockin’ ‘Tied To You’ mixed in with other great cuts like ‘Baby Sister’ about her sister back in Bakersville; ‘Ohh Las Vegas’ and ‘The Lucky Spot’ about her Mum and Dad. Later we get a cooking rockin’ medley that featured some Rolling Stones in there like a ‘Bitch’ (a short instrumental section) and ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ as well with Stacie doing some mean Mick Jagger impressions. And how can I not mention a killer cover of ‘Ain’t Got You’ as well.
Other cool things that happened in the night include the fact that she not only thanked her band but many of her friends and fans as well as crew members and our very own Stage Manager, Lee at The Corporation whose name she kept getting wrong – but it’s ok because he could have called her Tracey if he wanted to – lol. It was great to see Stacie sip down a shot too – always reminds me of being in the USA myself when I hear that word said by a cool American muso.
After the show itself the band and Stacie in particular came out to meet everyone, sign merch and have photos with us all. Here’s to this Country Harp Queen and her band coming back soon.
by Glenn Milligan