Karen Collins & The Backroads Band
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Karen Collins & The Backroads Band

Takoma Park, Maryland, United States | INDIE | AFM

Takoma Park, Maryland, United States | INDIE | AFM
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"CD Reviews - Quotes"

Tail Light Blues - CD Review Quotes

Karen has one of those voices perfect for Country music, lots of character and a little bit of an edge… this one is a highly recommended entry into the Honky Tonk sweepstakes in which we are all winners! - Blue Suede News - Summer 2007

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. - 3rd Coast Music – August 2007

Fortunately, Collins, the singer and the songwriter, is free to display the full range of her talents on "Tail Light Blues," an album that doesn't strive for rootsy charm so much as radiate it. - The Wasington Post – April 2007

It doesn't get any more country than Karen Collins. She offers straight ahead country in the style of the classics with twangy guitars, emotional pedal steel and a cry in her voice. - Sing Out Magazine - Autumn 2007

Tail Light Blues is a fantastic record, Karen Collins a shining singer who is strongly anchored in country's traditions - Rootsy.nu Magazine - August 2007

A coal miner’s daughter from southwest Virginia, Karen Collins is a genuine down-home country singer in the old-school class of Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson and Jean Shepard. On this, her third album, she makes modern country singers like Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans sound positively pop in comparison.
Maverick Magazine – UK - November 2007

“This is a great little album. Collins has more to offer than generic Nashville fare with fine songs on show, some excellent picking from her band and guests, and some fine songwriting.” - AmericanaUK - April 2007

Fans of true country music will do well to tailgate behind Karen Collins' tail lights.
-Indie-Music.com - May 2007
- Wash. Post, Blue Suede News, Sing Out, etc.


"Tail Light Blues Review- Washington Post"

Friday, April 20, 2007; Page WE10

KAREN COLLINS & THE BACKROADS BAND "Tail Light Blues" Azalea City

KAREN COLLINS, DAUGHTER of a southwest Virginia coal miner, would need to do two things to conceal her hardscrabble country roots: Keep her mouth shut and put down her pen.

Fortunately, Collins, the singer and the songwriter, is free to display the full range of her talents on "Tail Light Blues," an album that doesn't strive for rootsy charm so much as radiate it. For starters, there is Collins's highly distinctive voice; bright, piercing and charged with girlish zest, it adds plenty of tang to the twangy guitar sounds orchestrating this collection of honky-tonk tales. A case in point is a suitably raucous reprise of the classic George Jones-Melba Montgomery duet "Feudin' and Fightin'."

More often, though, Collins sings her own songs, and she seldom sounds better than when showing an ex-lover the door on "Highway of Love" and "Rumors." Veteran pedal steel guitarist and Ernest Tubb sideman Buddy Charleton, who embroiders the album's title cut with blue tones, is quoted in the liner notes as saying that he wishes Tubb had lived to hear Collins's songs. It's not hard to understand why, since Collins can convince you that Tubb and his ilk are still dominating the country music charts.

Colorfully augmenting Collins's voice, fiddles and rhythm guitar in the Backroads Band are bassist-vocalist Geff King, drummer Rob Howe and multi-instrumentalist Ira Gitlin, who shines brightest on electric, twang-laden lead guitar.

-- Mike Joyce
Appearing Monday at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/19/AR2007041900676.html
- Washington Post


"Tail Light Blues Review-3rd Coast Music"

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

- 3Rd Coast Music


"Tail Light Blues Review - Blue Suede News"

Karen Collins & The Backroads Band
Tail Lights Blues - Azalea City ACCD-0702

Karen has one of those voices perfect for Country music, lots of character and a little bit of an edge. She reminds me of another of my favorite East Coast singers, Betsy-Dawn Williams, and also a little of Seattle singer Ruby Dee. She's also got an excellent band with a few fine guest players on pedal steel, dobro, accordion etc. But the real frosting on the cake is the fine original songs. Karen wrote 8 of the 13, and my favorite so far in a close race is "Guitar Queen". I'm going to enjoy giving the others, like "Honky Tonk Guitar", "Highway Of Love", "Song Gone Wrong", the title song (Karen's first original - which prompted steel player Buddy Charleton, formerly with Ernest Tubb, to remark "I wish that Ernest could have heard your songs.") and the others a chance to take over my top spot! There are also a couple originals on the CD by other band members, and covers like "Sentimental Journey", "Only Mama That'll Walk The Line" and "Feudin' And Fightin"' from George Jones & Melba Montgomery. Collins plays guitar and fiddle in addition to her excellent vocals, and this one is a highly recommended entry into the Honky Tonk sweepstakes in which we are all winners!

Blue Suede News - Summer 2007

- Blue Suede News


"Tail Light Blues Review - Americana UK"

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.
- Americana UK


"Tail Light Blues Review - Sing Out"

Sing Out Magazine - Autumn 2007
KAREN COLLINS AND THE BACKROADS BAND, Tail Light Blues, (Azalea City 0702). It doesn't get any more country than Karen Collins. She offers straight ahead country in the style of the classics with twangy guitars, emotional pedal steel and a cry in her voice. Original songs about love gone wrong, love gone right and playing the guitar plus some great covers, including "Sentimental Journey"
with some fine steel guitar work by Matt Levine. Most are good boot scootin' tunes so grab your sweetie and cut a rug. - JA
- Sing Out Magazine


Discography

Tail Light Blues - Karen Collins & the Backroads Band - 2007
Backroads & Bayous - Karen Collins - 2004

Photos

Bio

Karen Collins, a coal miner's daughter from Southwest Virginia fronts one of the Washington D.C. area's top honky tonk country bands, The Backroads Band plays classic country music like it was played back then. With a mix of original songs written in a classic country style to boot scootin' vintage country covers, they'll have you out on the dance floor in no time at all. Their sound is classic from the 1940s-1970s with a song list ranges from Patsy Cline and Hank Williams to The Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry with a dash of Bob Wills thrown in.

Their new CD "Tail Light Blues" is receiving rave reviews and airplay in the US and in Europe.

"what makes this album worthwhile is the original songwriting... 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.
- 3RD Coast Music - Aug. 2007

Karen has one of those voices perfect for Country music, lots of character and a little bit of an edge...
this one is a highly recommended entry into the Honky Tonk sweepstakes in which we are all winners!
Blue Suede News - Summer 2007