Sassy songstress belts out the blues

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT'S ON - Laura Collins and the Back Porch Blues Band, will make Fri­day May 13 a lucky day at Cafe Royale. Book­ings for preshow din­ner are on354.7479), with the show from 7 – 9.30pm, with tick­ets $20 on the door.

Sassy songstress’’ Laura Collins and the Back Porch Blues Band is bring­ing it all back home. Back in her home­town, Cafe Royale will again re­ver­ber­ate to Laura’s ballsy blues and steamy slow-burn­ing bal­lads, with the bonus be­ing boo­gie pi­ano-man and Kiwi mu­sic icon Wayne Ma­son as the band’s res­i­dent ivory-tin­kler.

First and fore­most an en­ter­tainer, Welling­ton based Laura brings her own in­ter­pre­ta­tions to the likes of Nina Si­mone, Koko Tay­lor, Etta James, and Bon­nie Raitt along with a few help­ings of Muddy Wa­ters, BB King, and the honky­tonk of Fats Domino, Dr John, and Pro­fes­sor Long­hair.

‘‘Blues comes straight from the heart and that’s just how I like it,’’ Laura says.

‘‘It’s ac­ces­si­ble, joy­ful, heart-felt mu­sic, and not only that it makes me want to move – what’s not to like?’’ Join­ing Laura and Wayne is pedal-free guitarist John O’Con­nor who has worked with, among oth­ers, Kiri Te Kanawa, Mark Wil­liams, BB King, Chuck Berry and Bo Did­dley.

In the de­lib­er­ately ‘pulled back’ en­gine room, there’s Ge­orge Bar­ris on up­right bass, who was a mem­ber of 1970s Kiwi band High­way, with Pete Cogswell on the ‘back porch’ skins.

Ac­cord­ing to Laura, the mix brings out a warm vo­cal-lead sound that ‘‘just swings’’.

Laura Collins fronts Welling­ton’s Back Porch Blues Band.

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