Wisconsin’s own Nora Collins performed two sets of music yesterday July 18 in the Leinie Lodge at the Waukesha County Fair. When Nora hit the stage at 5pm it was still in the low 90’s outside, and lucky for those in attendance, and Nora, a slight breeze occasionally made the sweltering heat a bit more tolerable. Collins is enjoying a summer of big shows on her busy calendar, having already played 10 sets of music at Summerfest, a successful show at Bastille Days, and an impressive hometown show at Dominic Days you can read about by clicking here. Next week Nora has opening slots on two major tours coming through the area. On Wednesday July 24 Nora will be performing at Shank Hall in Milwaukee opening for American Idol winner Lee DeWyze and Thursday July 25 Nora will be opening for Josh Turner at the Washington County Fair in West Bend, Wisconsin.
Collins is an accomplished country music singer songwriter in her own right. Nora won the 2012 and 2013 WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Rising Star Award and was also the 2013 WAMI Female Vocalist of the Year Nominee. Nora’s vocal talents are extraordinary, and honestly she’s every bit as good of a singer as Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert, two performer’s Collins counts among her favorites. While Nora stands her own ground just fine, it’s hard not to see a bright sparkle reminiscent of Carrie or Miranda in Collins when she’s performing. The same fire burns bright inside her that wins Grammy awards and sells platinum records.
Nora played exceptionally well for the searingly hot conditions, playing a nice mix of original numbers and strong covers. Most notably Nora’s first set included spirited renditions of her original songs, “Harley,” “I’ll Pray For You,” “Dimples Filled With Lies,” and the absolutely sublime, “Nothing To Do With Me.” Notable cover songs Nora played included “Take It Easy,” by The Eagles, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and “Beer For My Horses,” by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson.
The heat slightly dissipated by Nora’s second set, but not by much. Collins played for the crowd more original songs, including “Wings Of My Own,” “Harley,” “Run Away With Me,” and another strongly performed version of “Nothing To Do With Me.” For cover songs during the second set Collins played more tunes from her country heroes Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, including “Good Girl,’ and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” What is exceptional about Collins is that even when playing a cover song she is able to inject a noticeable amount of her own style into the mix, and it’s a formula that works really well. When Collins performed Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You” I was impressed with how she turned a hard rock song into a Nashville country-tinged sing-along. It takes a lot of talent to transform a song in a meaningful way without losing the balance and scope of the original intent. Collins does it flawlessly.
Nora’s new CD “Only The Beginning,” is only going to be made available at her concerts or through US mail, so 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.