By Kari Barrett
Rusty Nail – New Orleans Show Review
The Rusty Nail was the perfect New Orleans Bar to host his CD release party. After all, unbeknownst to many, Rich and his crew The Kangaroo Assassins had been preparing by playing open-mic nights leading up to the show. This became obvious when they took the stage. Rich Collins has been around the New Orleans music scene for some time now, and has surrounded himself with other fantastic musicians. Accompanying him on stage was drummer Kyle Melancon, a member of the Movers, and formerly Dash Rip Rock. On guitar, Todd “Whiskey T” McNulty of the band Country Fried. On bass, Rene Coman, a member of the Iguanas. On vocals, Daria Dzurik of Daria and the Hip Drops, Carla King Jewell, and Lizzy Dannemiller. Not to mention surprise guest Scott “Smitty” Smith on guitar from the Movers.
When I arrived at the release party, I didn’t know what to expect as far as the crowd. I don’t live in New Orleans, but visit there frequently. Ironically, I was in NOLA a few weeks previously for Mardi Gras this year, and had a chance to check out Dash Rip Rock at this same venue. Dash had a pretty good crowd, but when I walked squeezed into the door I was overwhelmed with the crowd that had turned out for this event. It was shoulder to shoulder. After chatting with drummer Kyle Melancon, he mentioned that he had been there for many shows, but the bar was as packed as he had ever seen it. It was pretty damn amazing to see the support of all of Rich’s friends, family, well-wishers, and of course his fellow Movers.
When the show kicked off, Rich started in the wrong key for his first song, Zombie Radio. How did he and the Kangaroo Assassins handle it? Like pros, of course. They just started over. As Rich said, they pulled a mulligan. They immediately found their groove. At this point, I slipped away from my friends and slipped into the music. Rich looked completely comfortable taking the reins in the spotlight, stepping out into his first solo endeavor, and I was completely impressed. The first few songs they played were ones I had received earlier to get a little preview, and was very familiar with them. These songs are very catchy, and will have you tapping along in no time. They transcended my expectations of hearing them live. What I wasn’t expecting was the rest of the songs. As great as the ones were that I had heard before the show, I was completely blown away by the rest of the songs. It was like seeing a completely different side of a musician for the first time. It was a mix of funk, soul, playfulness, swankiness, and some deeper song lyrics. I was quickly caught up in the vocals of Daria and Carla as well. The soul in their voices intertwined together and stopped me in my tracks. The night was full of surprises. Smitty took the stage and joined in for a few songs. Rich handed off his guitar to him, and they played News of the Day. Next thing you know, Rich was holding his signature drink of the night, a “Bourbon Collins,” in one hand and a mic in the other. I suddenly found myself listening to the sweet sounds of a cover of Bob Marley’s Could You Be Loved. It was fantastic. After a well-deserved break, the guys and gals got up and did a second performance. It was a fantastic night; and true to his word, Rich got me his signature drink, the “Bourbon Collins” and we toasted to a successful night! CHEERS!
I am a girl that loves a live show. I try to catch as many as I can. There’s nothing better than discovering new music, and sharing it. If you have not listened to Rich Collin’s new CD, That Escalated Quickly, I highly recommend you check it out. Download it on iTunes or grab a copy on his website or Amazon. Be sure to check his website for his next upcoming event at Fulton on Tap, too.
You can also find Mover Rich over on the Movers website.
Special thanks to Chris Pierce over at Totally Driven Radio for asking me to do a review for their site. Tune in on Thursday, April 11th, to catch Jason & Layla talk about their upcoming show at the French Quarter Festival, as well as Jason Rhein’s many projects. I look forward to giving another recap on Jason & Layla’s first live show together!
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