The cover might look like a rejected panel from Marvel Comics Goes to the Rodeo, but there’s nothing cartoonish about Stacie Collins’ Sometimes Ya Gotta… — it’s actually 45 minutes of beer-soaked rock ‘n’ roll, as sweaty and hard-charging as the bull in the picture, fueled by some wonderfully raw production from Dan Baird and topped off with Collins’ throaty howl and fiery harmonica.
I was personally reminded of early ’90s Next Big Thing Kelly Willis, to whom Collins bears a strong vocal resemblance — but where Willis has always been a little reluctant to explore the honky-tonk side of the spectrum, Collins knows how to throw a juke joint party. Listen closely enough, and you might even hear the clink of empties.
Recommended for anyone who loves the raw, country-tinged rock of acts like Jason & the Scorchers (who Collins has toured with) or Terry Anderson — or people who, like me, will buy anything Dan Baird-related in the hopes that he’ll eventually be grateful enough to make a full-scale Georgia Satellites reunion happen — Sometimes Ya Gotta… is that rarest of modern-day beasts: a joyous, vibrant, ass-kicking rock ‘n’ roll record, with the songs to match the attitude. Play it loud, and play it often. (2010, Rev Records)