Singer Songwriter Nora Collins rose to the occasion as Josh Turner’s opening act at the Washington County Fair last night and, uplifted by the event, handed in a nearly flawless performance. Taking the stage at 6:00pm July 25 to a large gathering crowd, Collins, a rising country starlet, played seven songs in her half hour time slot and made the most of her stage time by performing some of her absolutely best material. Collins picked up her Martin guitar and got things underway by performing the Pistol Annies, song “I Feel A Sin Comin’ On,” and the confidence in her voice and guitar was immediately obvious.
“Harley,” was played next, a song Collins wrote and the first song on her brand new CD, “Only The Beginning.” It’s a smartly written tune that finds Collins singing about a taking a late night ride in a sleepy town on the back of a Harley. The audience clearly enjoyed her performance and Collins was all smiles as the song came to a close, clearly basking in the joy of her big moment in the spotlight.
Up next was “Dimples Filled With Lies,” a song that has garnered national attention for Collins via The Country Network, now called ZUUS Country, located at channel 24.2 in Milwaukee or 988 on Time Warner Cable. “Dimples,” was recorded in Nashville with musicians that tour with Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Martina McBride, and can be found on Nora’s second CD, “Run Away With Me,” a disc full of songs that Collins wrote herself when she was 15 to 16 years old. “Fishin’ In The Dark,” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came next in the set list. Nora really nails this song, and the version she played last night was no exception. It’s a playful song, catchy and memorable, to say the least.
Collins returned to playing original songs by performing, “Nothing To Do With Me,” a track co-written with Kevan Kirk, that has for me become the stand out tune on “Only The Beginning.” Nora really hits the mark with this song in particular. Collins has a way of painting the song beautifully with a wide palette of emotions that draws you in as a listener and demands your full attention. The song, without becoming too esoteric in my opinion, touches upon a magic songwriting formula that borders on musical alchemy. Collins defines this era of her song crafting with “Nothing To Do With Me,” and her performance last night displayed the breadth and charm of her young, raw talent.
“I’ll Pray For You,” another original tune written by Collins, was up next on the set list. Nora absolutely owned the stage during the performance. It’s a song that gives Nora the space to stretch her vocals and guitar, all the while delivering an intriguing storyline of love gone wrong. Collins delivers lines that are both humorous and profound, proclaiming at one point, “And even though you’ve been quite the jerk, well I’ll let karma do my dirty work. I don’t want your blood on my hands.”
Nora closed out her set with Miranda Lambert’s song, “Fastest Girl In Town.” Collins does the song justice and then some, not afraid to fill the big notes the song demands. At the end of her set Nora gave everyone a chuckle when in good-natured fun she joked from the stage, “I’d like to thank Josh Turner for closing for me tonight.” It was one of those moments where you couldn’t help but smile and be proud for an up and coming musician who just had a bright and beautiful moment basking in the spotlight at a big gig.
By the end of the show Nora had most definitely won over new fans who flocked to her at the merch tent to pick up a CD and take a photo with the rising star. It was really great to see Nora interact with her fans, signing autographs and smiling, giving each one of them a great memory to take home with them. “Only The Beginning,” is only going to be made available at Nora’s shows or through US mail, get your copy now. For the mailing address and more information and her performance schedule check out www.NoraCollins.com. For those who want to sample Nora’s music there is a free download through ReverbNation. The track is a full band version of “I’ll Pray For You” that can be downloaded after you sign up for Nora’s mailing list. Nora is in the process of making a music video for the full band version of “I’ll Pray For You,” be sure to check back for the finished video. For info/booking contact: email@example.com You can find Nora on Facebook, be sure to hit like at her page to get all her updates. You can also find Nora on Twitter. For more information about John Schulze Photography please visit the official Facebook Page and the official website.