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2 Guns

by The Smoking Flowers

"A punkish/alt-country/whatever-you-need-it-to-be masterpiece" ~ Relix Jambands

 

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press

 

- "Often beautifully ragged; sometimes beautifully haunting; many times beautifully goofy-grinned and/or playful, pleading, or pledging - but always beautiful." ~ Relix

- "There are not enough words to describe the intrinsic chemistry Kim and Scott Collins possess. The duo, better known as The Smoking Flowers, have discovered what some duos spend their entire careers trying to find: a fascinating marriage between artistic talent and subtle sensuality that pierces the attention of anyone in the same room as them." ~ The Repertoire

- "An edgy Civil Wars... or The White Stripes if Meg sang like a country angel and they lived on a dirt road." ~ Kyle O'Brien (Pitchfork)

- "provocative and risky" ~ POP MATTERS

- "Highly recommended for both rock and country fans, and especially to listeners that enjoy peeling the sheets off last night's scratch marks." ~ The Deli Magazine

- "A punkish/alt-country/whatever-you-need-it-to-be masterpiece... Kurt Cobain's ratty sweater traded for a CBGB t-shirt and bolo tie." ~ Relix Jambands

- "For the uninitiated, the Flowers make heartfelt and frequently deeply personal Americana music. 2 Guns is on our short list for Best Local Album of the Year." ~ Nashville Scene

- "As a writer it's gotten to the point where I'm floored when I discover someone with true talent and originality. Kim & Scott Collins are a couple of poets who can express such things in a way you haven't heard before." ~ The Vinyl Anachronist

- "Raw, unpolished, and exciting... a DNA mash up of Presley, Jason and The Scorchers, and Robert Plant, whom, ironically, originally considered Kim for the part now filled by Patti Griffin."  
~ Net Rhythms UK

- "Kim and Scott Collins, The Smoking Flowers, carry on the torch where Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris left off in their day, delivering beautifully produced, sometimes moody, songs with knockout harmonies...A marriage of song and voice that is uniquely their own."
~ AltCountry.NL Magazine

- reviews -

 
 

 

 

 

the smoking flowers story

 

There are not enough words to describe the intrinsic chemistry Kim and Scott Collins possess. The duo, better known as The Smoking Flowers, have discovered what some duos spend their entire careers trying to find: a fascinating marriage between artistic talent and subtle sensuality that pierces the attention of anyone in the same room as them. The Collins' have devoted their entire lives to music, and the second their wild feet touch the stage they exude just how tenured they truly are. Seeing The Smoking Flowers play a show is like hearing a certain gospel for the first time; there is a sense of mystery that veils the cornerstone of truth in their songs and ultimately envelopes the soul. Both Kim and Scott embody the "counter-culture" sound of Nashville's 90's rock scene while presenting that embodiment in a stripped down version of what Nashville used to love.

Musically speaking... Kim dances between drums, accordion, acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica, shimmering tambourine and her own sensual, simmering vocals. Scott plays electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica, and delivers his vocals with the voice of a feisty, gin-battered, heart-on-sleeve, hardscrabble troubadour.

The Smoking Flowers live shows exemplify the gritty wanderlust of Kim and Scott. "Heck, the cover of the '2 Guns' album was a photo I took by laying my camera on the hood of our rented convertible when we were traveling once and found the original dirt road part of Route 66," Kim says. Meanwhile, the songs paint a picture of a couple that lives together, writes together, plays together and simply loves life together.

The Smoking Flowers most recent full length LP '2 Guns' was co-produced/engineered by Adam Landry of Cosmic Thug (noted producer of Deer Tick, Middle Brother, and Diamond Rugs) and recorded on 8-track 1-inch tape; continuing the Collins' 15 years and counting commitment to analog recording.  The thirteen songs on '2 Guns' were raucously brought into existence in single recorded takes over about four days.  It is a ferocious musical document that eerily proved to be a foreshadowing of the battle the couple was soon to encounter. 

Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer just after they recorded and mixed '2 Guns', delaying the album's release by almost 2 years.  Kim's breast cancer is in remission today due to only using holistic and alternative methods (no chemotherapy, no radiation, no hormones).  You can't fake the kind of undeniable urgency that flows and howls throughout '2 Guns' as the couple tapped deeply into their raw punk and folk roots in it's composition.

Kim cites influences that range from Led Zeppelin to Gillian Welch and The Ramones to Linda Rondstat. Ironically, just a few years ago, Kim was considered by one of those very influences when she was up for the female vocalist spot in Robert Plant's "Band of Joy". Unbeknownst to Kim, Mr. Plant had been listening to some of her recordings and loved her voice. But as fate would have it her friend Patti Griffin got the role. "The job was clearly destined for Patti...I mean look at her and Robert now! I do believe in a good love story, after all" says a sighing Kim. As for Scott and his influences, the answer ultimately comes down to just two words: Neil Young.

Scott was born in Missouri and raised near Highway 61, growing up aware of the importance and significance of that American music landmark, even attending Elvis's funeral when he was only three years old. He became passionate about Neil Young in his young 20's, and followed his dream to New York City before being lured by his brother to visit Nashville for the summer to start a band.

Kim and Scott met that summer in 1998 when Kim was working at the heralded, taste-making scene venue 12th & Porter (Nashville's CBGB's of that era). Scott came by to see about a summer job. Kim was the only one in the restaurant at the time. And as Scott says, "Kim told me I didn't need to fill out an application."  After only one date, Scott went back to the Big Apple and gathered up his things and moved to Nashville. Six months later, Kim and Scott were engaged.

Collectively, among past and current projects, they have opened for beloved song-smiths such as The Indigo Girls and Ben Folds Five, underground post punk artists Concrete Blonde, soulful rock bands including The Black Keys and Chris Robinson Brotherhood, straight-ahead rock bands including The Strokes and reggae legend Ziggy Marley. Recently, Ian Saint Pe of Black Lips lured Kim and Scott into the studio to lend their harmonies, and Kim's signature drums and accordion, to his forthcoming solo release.