Singer/Songwriter Collin Herring (Official / Myspace) has spent years living in Ft. Worth, California and Austin where he has played clubs and garnered a good bit of praise from his peers as a thoughtful, insightful artist. He has also spent a good bit of time in rehab and suffering through a divorce, experiences that has surely given him fuel for the creative fires that burn throughout his 4 excellent full-length records. In fact, “Punches”, a duet with Kathleen Edwards from 2008 was likely my favorite song for the entire year, was born out of the destructive relationship that brought about his divorce.
Herring’s latest release, Ocho, is a concise 8 song collection, produced by indie-mastermind Will Johnson (the leader of Centro-matic is also the Monsters of Folk drummer, Patterson Hood’s touring guitar player, Telegraph Canyon’s producer, and even Jason Molina’s duo partner) that mostly eschews the harder-rocking vibes that were more prevalent on Herring’s previous albums for a more deliberate, delicate pace. That isn’t to say that Ocho is a soft, ballad-laden lullaby, it’s far from. Ben Roi Herring, Collin’s father is a pedal-steel master and gives a bulk of the songs a sweet touch that enables many people to conveniently label Herring’s sound as “country”. “Passed Away” rips some power chords and effectively rocks out near the album’s close. It is the album’s opening number, “Nothing’s Good”, that truly captures Herring’s strength. When he simply sings “Nothing’s wrong, but nothing’s good“, there is a profound sense of emptiness amidst normalcy. If you are a fan of Matthew Ryan, then adding Herring’s work to your collection is a must. His poetry, robed in rock with a slight spark of twang continues to be an impressive combination.
About the author: I likes me some wine, women and waffles, not always in that order (but usually). Chaucer is cool, but fart jokes are even better. You feel like spikin' your country with a little soul or mix in a little rock without the roll? Lemme hear from ya!!