Vanessa Collier - Heart On The Line

Vanessa Collier 

Heart On The Line
Phenix Fire Records 

Review by Greg Johnson 

Vanessa Collier is a force within herself and is gaining popularity and momentum that is beyond well deserved. The current two-time recipient of the Blues Music Award for Instrumentalist Horns, she is much more than that. She’s a multi-instrumentalist, a vocalist to be reckoned with, a performer who  takes command of an audience of any size and, as displayed here and one her previous recording, a superb songwriter. 

Her saxophone playing is on full display on this new disc, Heart On The Line, but so is her slide resonator guitar work on the “Bloodhound.” This album shows that Collier can move about the musical spectrum quite easily, too, from a funky good number such as her cover of James Brown’s “Super Bad,” to “Take A Chance On Me,” and the title track, “Heart On The Line.” Her soulful side shows through with “What Makes You Beautiful,” and she feeds a bit of sentimentality with “I Don’t Want To Change A Thing.” Along with her take on “Super Bad,” Collier covers a superb version of Randy Newman’s classic, “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”  

Guests appearing on this recording include noted musicians such as Scot Sutherland on bass, Doug Woolverton on trumpet and the amazing Laura Chavez, who has worked with Candye Kane and Nikki Hill among many more, laying down her trademark guitar licks. 

Heart On The Line is sure to bring more accolades Collier’s way. At this point, her career continues to soar on an upward path and there’s no reason with a work like this that it will not proceed directly on its way up for years to come. This is an artist who is just kicking off a breakthrough among  the best recording and performing blues artists of our time and the sky’s the limit for this young musician. 


Total Time: 44:04 

Super Bad / What Makes You Beautiful / Bloodhound / I Don’t Want Anything To Change / Leave Your Hat On / Take A Chance On Me / If Only / Weep And Moan / Who’s In Power / Freshly Squozen / Heart On The Line