Karen Collins

Americana UK - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another coalminer's daughter who kicks shit with the best of them

“ Namechecking Loretta Lynn in the liner notes and promo material it's not hard to see where Collins is coming from. Straightforward honky tonk country songs with a side order of Zydeco are the order of the day here but before you change channels here's a public announcement. This is a great little album. Collins has more to offer than generic Nashville fare with several fine songs on show, some excellent picking from her band and guests and some fine songwriting.

With a very traditional vocal style, Collins fronts a fine band, Ira Gitlin's guitar dominates "Song Gone Wrong" with a tremendous sense of twang as a lazy rhythm plays on a sad song of love losing its way. Although this is the highlight there are several other numbers where his guitar shines, "Highway of Love" has some twisted and skewed notes rumbling throughout.

In the traditional manner Collins has a feisty female response to a testosterone fuelled male song, in this case "Only Mama That'll Walk the Line, " a female version of Waylon Jennings' "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line." and she updates a George Jones marital woe song in "Feudin' and Fightin'." The album ends with the title track that is embellished with pedal steel by Buddy Charleston (ex Ernest Tubbs player), another break up tale that swings in a fine style. ”

Paul Kerr