Karen Collins


“ Quoted last month, one of the editors of Another Magazine believes that "mainstream country music deserves once again to be taken seriously." My reaction to this was, of course,'Say what?!' It wasn't until later that I started wondering when exactly was the previous time mainstream country deserved to be taken seriously. Perhaps 1986, during the interval between the Urban Cowboys and the Hat Acts, but then Earle, Lovett, Yoakam, etc were never really mainstream, if they had been, I wouldn't have got all that work writing about them, QED. Moving backward, by process of elimination I reach 1962, aka The Last Good Year, and somehow I don't think I'd get much argument on this from DC-area singer, songwriter and fiddler Collins. A genuine coalminer's daughter, raised on the Grand Ole Opry, she belongs firmly to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' school. While I firmly believe that there should ideally be a Real Country band as good as Collins and her area veterans in every good saloon in every single town, what makes this album worthwhile is the original songwriting. Apart from covers of Sentimental Journey, Ivy Bryant's Only Mama That'll Walk the Line and Feudin' and Fightin' from George Jones & Melba Montgomery's 1967 LP Close Together, Collins wrote eight of the 12 numbers, bassist Geff King another and guitarist Ira Gitlin an instrumental, and while Collins has a great quote from ex-ET pedal steel player Buddy Charleton, who guests on two tracks, "I wish Ernest could have heard your songs," the person you can easily imagine singing them, especially the title track, is Loretta Lynn, they're that good, and that classic country. ” JC - 3rd Coast Music - August 2007