Country singer Karen Collins grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia in a coal mining community. She spent a lot of time listening to country music on the radio and singing in the local Baptist Church. The echoes of those early country sounds stand out in her singing and her song writing. Her songs are written and delivered in a traditional country style on topics ranging from love and heartbreak to modern issues such as being stuck in traffic.
Karen is lead singer with the honky tonk band, The Backroads Band, and the Cajun band, Squeeze Bayou. She also sings with the acoustic country quartet The Blue Moon Cowgirls, plays solo shows, and teaches singing classes. She has won multiple Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards) for “Country Vocalist”, “Country Duo/Group” (for the Backroads Band) and “Country Recording” for her most recent CD, “No Yodeling on the Radio.”
In a recent review, New Classic Music described Karen : “With a voice that would have fit perfectly in the 50’s and 60’s era of country music, Karen Collins has a lot in common with artists like Loretta Lynn and especially Rose Maddox. You can tell this lady loved Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and probably both Loretta and Rose. Her voice is a quirky mix of country charm and offbeat humor.”
“’Country music is as good as it’s ever been,’ Ray Price once remarked in an interview backstage at the 2008 Country USA music festival in Oshkosh, WI. ‘The problem is that they don’t always play country.’ If Price should ever see Karen Collins & the Backwoods Band in action, he surely would give thumbs up for the Washington DC-based honky tonkers whose original music is rooted in the late 1940s through the late 1960s. Song selection, sentiment and stylistically, it’s all here. Western Virginia native Karen Collins sings in a mountain primitive country-ish voice that’s a cross between Kitty Wells and Dolly Parton.” – Driftwood Magazine