Roll The Dice
Blue Rose – EU
REV Records – USA
Toe-Tappin’, Butt-Shakin,’ Brain Rockin’ Country at it’s Very Best!
Just like a classic British Sports Car, The Stacie Collins band are a little rough round the edges and when they go flat out you find yourself gripping on as they approach a tight turn. But they are also chock full of character, look great and the sound when they rev that engine is a real head turner.
Many bands with a great live reputation struggle to replicate that energy on record; but that’s never been a problem for Stacie Collins; and on the opener Lost And Found she comes out of the saloon all guns blazing and she ain’t taking any prisoners.
Kick-ass boogie songs are here in abundance, with It’s Over and Can’t Do Without You both sounding as good as any Country-Rock I’ve heard in years; but it’s Stacie’s signature red hot Country harmonica playing that makes her songs stand out from the crowd.
Can’t Do Without You and Later Than You Think both open with Stacie blowing the reeds out of her harp in a way Sonny Terry would have been proud of; and the songwriting on this set of songs needs to be singled out too. They mark a slight change in direction and a sense of maturity for the Queen of the Roadhouses (and husband Al too).
Another song that shows a more thoughtful approach is the Tex-Mex flavoured Heart on My Sleeve, which I absolutely love; especially Michael Webb’s classy accordion playing. Had this album been released earlier in the year that song would most definitely have been on all my Summer mix-tapes for the car.
As always not every song here is a Rocker; as Stacie can do ballads as well as any of the Nashville Country Queens and It’s Over especially, is a real tugger of the heartstrings and could easily have been a Faith Hill or Reba single; in a parallel universe.
The whole album sounds as if the band were having a ball in the studio, just as they do on stage with the best example being the tongue in cheek King of Rock; which will make you smile all the way through and try and guess who it’s about. I have my own theory; but it really could be about anyone who is still on the club circuit after 20 years dreaming of ‘the big break’.
For what it’s worth the band, Al Collins on bass, Audley Freed on Guitar, Brad Pemberton on drums and Rock God Dan Baird on lead guitar, are as tight as a ducks bum; and Stacie’s voice has never sounded better. I may even go as far as saying she has finally ‘grown into it,’ no longer relying on volume alone. Thank you Allen Collins for a pin sharp production – it’s brought out the very best in wife Stacie.
I’ve been an unadulterated fan of Stacie Collins ever since I saw an advert for her debut album in No Depression magazine 15 years ago and I can categorically state that this is her very best album to date!
Released Oct 9 2015