Collin Herring
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Collin Herring

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Rock Americana


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"Collin Herring For the Sake of the Song"

Collin Herring
Some Knives

Austin continues to hide some astonishingly talented singer-songwriters. Count Collin Herring among them, although Some Knives, his fifth disc and first in almost five years, might change that. Herring's songs move between, power pop, and psychedelia with unusual ease. Produced by Matt Pence of Centro-matic, it's a roller coaster of emotions as well, veering from shivery set-opener "Psychopaths" to the partially cloudy hope of closer "Lights at the End." ***.5
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 23, 2014 - Austin Chronicle

"Song Premiere: Collin Herring, “Psychopaths”"

The Artist: Acclaimed Texas singer-songwriter Collin Herring

The Song: “Psychopaths,” from his fifth album Some Knives.

True Story: The album features instrumental contributions from Herring’s father, who was battling cancer at the time of recording (his cancer has since gone into remission).

Songwriter Says: “This was written on a sunny day in September and from a place of disconnection and isolation. A love song about someone who has no business loving. I remember being quite happy around the time this was written. I don’t know where most of my songs come from. This one just happened. Inspired by a weird tuning that I felt needed some tense subject matter. I like the way this song builds. [Producer and Centro-matic drummer] Matt Pence’s drumming is a critical part of the feel.”

Written by Evan Schlansky April 7th, 2014 at 4:27 pm - American Songwriter

"REVIEW: Collin Herring - Some Knives"

There are a lot of Texas singer/songwriters, and some of them are pretty good. Then there are some that are sort of transcendent. Guys like Willie Nelson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely - and currently guys like Will Johnson and Rhett Miller. You get Texas in their sound, sure. Some well-placed pedal steel, a twang or cry in the voice, but there's more - you feel like everybody could get this, no matter where they live. I feel that way about Collin Herring now. His sound is distinctive: in his vocals I'm reminded of favorites like Steve Earle, Joseph Arthur, Ryan Adams, maybe Jeff Tweedy a little bit, and the playing calls to mind the lonesome guitar-centric country rock of Centro-matic and Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Company.

That's Centro-matic's Matt Pence on drums and producing. That's Collin's dad, Ben Roi Herring on pedal steel. Herring plays the guitars and they brought in Jeremy Hull on bass. Herring, on their approach: "I like that the credits on this album are short. I like small groups. There was no 'that sounded good' and then re-recording it at a later date. We all just played our parts."

Herring has a way with a casual phrase, making his lyrics sound immediate, not labored-over - even though it's widely known what hard work good songwriting is, you get the sense that Herring is just throwing these things out there, because he's just that good. You know who else I used to feel that way about? Jackson Browne. And Herring reminds me of him, too.

Gosh, I hope I haven't oversold it. This album is terrific and it would be a shame if I overburdened the young man with expectations borne of my enthusiastic praise. Go check it out. Some Knives is out now (May 13).
Posted by John Hyland at 5/23/2014 - When You Motor Away

"Collin Herring - Some Knives (SR)"

10 September 2014
by Randy Reynolds

Forth Worth troubadour Collin Herring steps firmly out of the shadows with his newest LP entitled Some Knives. His first record since 2009’s Ocho finds Matt Pence of Centro-Matic again behind the production wheel for an upbeat albeit melancholy filled affair where stately drums and synths take a front seat.

Herring states his pursuit with Some Knives from the top with “Psychopaths.” The track finds him quickly asserting a more daring voice and arrangement than past releases. Lines like, “Psychopaths like me don’t shiver” hang on the listener while contempo drums lope around buzzed out chiming guitars. The album’s title track “Some Knives” leaves little room for fans to catch up before Herring throws down another glazed number, this time with a little less creep and a lot more heart …and synths. “Woke Up The Same” channels some Chore of Enchantment -era Giant Sand both in feel and delivery (a rad thing IMO). “Kicked Around” auspiciously builds upon the hopeful gloom of Ocho while still taking Herring further sonically.

On the album’s title track Herring humbly sings the line “Got caught up in the flowers.” It’s a phrase that gives you a good idea of where Herring is at the moment. He’s reaching toward something, regardless of whether he gets there or not is not near as important as the moment he’s in right now. - The Big Takeover

"The Ten Texas Bands That Most Deserve To Be Famous"

4. Collin Herring
Originally a native of Fort Worth, Collin Herring is the best singer/songwriter that too many folks sadly haven't heard of. Herring's 2005 effort The Other Side of Kindness is a phenomenal album that melds the alt-country and power pop genres with captivating ease. Herring's songs can be utterly heartbreaking and poetic even when he's banging the hell out of his guitar. Currently hanging out in Austin, Herring is working on his fourth album. - Dallas Observer Blogs

"Collin Herring Holds Steady in “Kicked Around”"

Collin Herring clearly remembers the moment he began writing “Kicked Around,” a candid song about a long-term relationship that had gone stagnant.

“I was in apartment 205. Over three years ago. She was getting ready. It was morning. I was sitting on the couch,” the Texas musician tells CMT Edge. “I sang, ‘I believe today is going to be a much better day,’ to some chords. That was as far as I got.

“A year passed. The night before going into the studio she said, ‘I really wish you would have finished that song about it being a better day.’ Me, too. In fact, it had been on my mind a lot. I really wanted the song to make the record. It didn’t seem complete without it.”

With studio time imminent, Herring started finishing up the song, conjuring up old memories and wondering if she ever imagined how things would turn out.

“I tried to go back to that day I wrote the opening line the best I could,” he says. “But sometimes when you go back you can’t help but take things with you.”

Herring says the “pure, unadulterated newness” of the song gave a sense of momentum to the recording. Plus, the musicians tracked their parts live, making eye contact with each other, which gave the sessions a natural vibe.

“It felt like we were just playing and not recording. I remember looking around during the bridge and just feeling the ground shake,” he says.

A haunting pedal steel guitar winds through the tune, courtesy of Herring’s father, Ben Roi Herring.

“Truthfully, my Dad’s steel just brings so much emotion. It’s almost eerie. On this song especially, the pedal steel chases you, knocks you down, stabs you and then dances on your grave,” the singer says. “Ben Roi pours his soul out. You can see it when he plays. Something else is going on other than just playing notes. That’s what makes him exceptional.”

Herring’s upcoming album, Some Knives, will be released on May 13. Check out the CMT Edge premiere of “Kicked Around.”
05/02/2014 Craig Shelburne - CMT Edge

"In Case You Missed It: 2014, so far"

By Peter Blackstock

American-Statesman Staff

The first half of 2014 brought a lot of record releases by local acts that got plenty of attention — from Willie Nelson’s first batch of new songs since the ’90s, to a second duo record by Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, to the auspicious debut of Spanish Gold — but also many more that warranted notice. Here’s a look back at January to June with an eye toward things that might have flown somewhat under the radar.

Collin Herring, “Some Knives”: Herring’s sixth album, but first in five years, was worth the wait. Drawing heavily on his father Ben Roi Herring’s steel guitar and keyboard talents — and given emotional gravitas by the fact that his father beat cancer while the album was being recorded — it’s a compelling collection of roots-oriented indie rock. Not everything is as strong as the opening “Psychopaths,” a legit candidate for local song of the year, but it’s solid, heartfelt work from start to finish. -

"Texas singer-songwriter lays down emotional classic"

By Jim Clark
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 2:07 PM CDT
Collin Herring’s fourth studio recording, Some Knives, is a piercing look into the dark corners of the soul of a man, who has walked down many roads less traveled.

This is thinking man’s psychedelia country, not made to make singles but rather for through and through listens.

The darkness certainly could have slipped in because Collin’s father, Ben Roi Herring, was battling cancer, and his Dad also plays pedal steel, keyboards, accordion, lap steel and supplies background vocals.

“During the recording process my Dad got cancer and beat it (Remission). Good surgeon and good cannabis oil. There was a point when Dad was laying down the pedal steel on one of the songs that I had to go outside and take a walk. It was emotional. While he was recording he looked up at me with this look on his face that told me his entire story. A look that said this is for you,” Collin said.

The sound is part R.E.M., part Neil Young and there’s a dash of Ryan Adams too. The songs have a heartbreaking, poetic edge to them. There’s a semi-grunge thing going on to, reverb like Dinosaur Jr. It’s really mind-bending stuff.

He plays primarily around Texas, but that will change soon. - Lee County Courier

"New, Improved Collin Herring"

Posted July 30, 2014 by HEARSAY in Music

I never thought I’d say this, but Collin Herring is now an elder statesman of the Texas music scene. When the Fort Worth native was just starting out, circa the early aughts, he was wheels-off enough to make Mötley Crüe look like a bunch of choirboys. Running around town with another madman, singer-songwriter John Price, and a vast crew of drug dealers, drug doers, trust fund babies, TCU kids, an exotic dancer or two (or five), fellow musicians, and some outwardly upstanding professional types who shall remain nameless, Herring drank, smoked, snorted, fought, and played his way through life, all in equal measure. No matter what condition he may have been in, he still managed to pump out three solid albums. (At a show at The Wreck Room one time, Herring paused in between songs to heckle a heckler, a musician from an at-the-time underground indie-rock band. “This song’s from my next album,” Herring said, tuning his guitar. “It has more than three songs on it.”)

In 2007, Herring got the heck out of Dodge, relocating to sunny Austin, where he has remained –– happily, productively, and, since 2010, sober. “That’s the thing I’m most excited about,” he said. “Without that, I wouldn’t have much. I’d have a lot of music, but I wouldn’t have a lot of functionality.”

He put out his first Austin-based album in 2009. Produced by Centro-matic’s Will Johnson, Ocho was a dour affair, Herring’s once-indomitable swing slowed to a crawl, his once-colorful sense of melody reduced to black and white. The material that would become his new album, Some Knives, came together slowly, after Ocho had receded into the past and after Herring had fallen in love, started working more than 40 hours a week at a café, and kicked his bad habits.

“I think the bottom line is, I was ready to grow in a way that I’d never grown before,” he said. “I think the time I spent from Ocho ’til now has been the hardest … . Life just started happening in a way, on a mature level, that has never happened before. I feel like the past five years have been a long stretch of necessary living. It gave me plenty of time to sit back and not stress about writing. … Now I finish [new songs] when I finish them.”

Part of what made the past five years so difficult for the mid-thirtysomething singer-songwriter was his 65-year-old father’s battle with prostate cancer. Ben Roi Herring, Collin’s longtime collaborator, who contributes pedal steel and keys to Some Knives (and who also plays in Fort Worth cowpunks Holy Moly), is now in full remission. “It’s unbelievable how well he’s doing,” Collin said.

Some Knives swings as well his non-Ocho stuff does, and it’s vibrant, gritty, and poetic. The album also has a Centro-matic connection –– drummer Matt Pence played on and produced Some Knives at his studio, The Echo Lab, in Denton. “I felt like it was time to do a record that was going to be less strenuous on my dad and mom, because I love the way [Ben Roi] plays, and I love his backing vocals,” Herring said. “I figured I’d go to him … and do it with [Pence], whom I love. I felt it worked out for the best.”

Herring’s CD release show Friday at The Aardvark with Alejandro Escovedo will mark the first time Herring’s played his hometown since 2010 and his first time back at The Aardvark since his hell-raisin’ days.

“I don’t feel like I play Fort Worth enough,” he said. “I want to play there more. I love Fort Worth, and I’ll always love Fort Worth. Friday will be like old times.”

Well, kind of. - Ft. Worth Weekly

"Collin Herring - 'Some Knives' (album stream) (Premiere)"

Texas singer-songwriter Collin Herring is back after a five-year absence with an exciting new album. Sometimes things really are worth the wait.

Collin Herring is often labeled alt-country and there is some truth to that, but there’s just as much as much indie rock in his sound. Some Knives bristles with energy and rousing melodies that will please fans of indie and Americana equally, as the album touches on influences from Son Volt and Whiskeytown alongside Neil Young, R.E.M. and even Nirvana.

Herring tells PopMatters all about the album’s recording process…

“This album has been done for a lot longer than it seems. Most of the process was coordinating dates and small sessions here and there. Producer and drummer Matt Pence (Centro-matic) was able to hear the demos and the rest was just making it happen. We liked working with Matt and after some discussion about the initial recordings, it was a no brainer that he was going to mix this record as well. We didn’t want anything lost in translation on this project.

“I like that the credits on this album are short—just Matt Pence, Jeremy Hull on bass, my dad [Ben Roi Herring] on keyboards, pedal steel & backing vocals, and myself. I like small groups. We all just played our parts.

“During the recording process my Dad got cancer and eventually beat it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it had some impact on the album. There was a point when Dad was laying down the pedal steel on one of the songs that I had to go outside and take a walk. It was emotional. While he was recording he looked up at me with this look on his face that told me his entire story. Everything that’s weaving around. This is life and it’s not over yet.

“We kept the health stuff to ourselves. Most of the recording was done when we found out but I still feel like, every now and then, that some of the emotional shadows crept onto the recordings.” - PopMatters


2002 - Avoiding the Circus
2005 - The Other Side of Kindness
2008 - Past Life Crashing
2010 - Ocho
2014 - Some Knives



Alt-country and alt-rock artist Collin Herring burst out of the Fort Worth, TX, scene in 2002 with his live debut album, Avoiding the Circus. Performer of a somewhat moodier and darker brand of alt-country-fried rock than that of many of contemporaries, Herring went into the studio and recorded his eclectic debut, The Other Side of Kindness, with Matt Pence, who had worked with bands as zany as the Polyphonic Spree. After receiving critical acclaim both within and beyond the Texas borders, Herring continued to consolidate his rise to fame by playing shows on a consistent basis and releasing his third album, Past Life Crashing, in 2008.

Already dubbed "the next big thing" and "the torchbearer for alt-country," Collin Herring combines rock, country, singer-songwriter, post-punk and psychedelia into his own unique style. His 2014 release, Some Knives, melds traditional and contemporary influences to position himself as the future voice of Southern music.

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