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Nora Collins delivers as best bet of area artists at Wisconsin State Fair

Singer-songwriter Nora Collins at Wisconsin State Fair 2014
Singer-songwriter Nora Collins at Wisconsin State Fair 2014
Copyright 2014 John Schulze

Nora Collins, the Wisconsin Area Music Industry 2014 singer-songwriter of the year, was recently named by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the "Best bet of area artists" at the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair. They were right. The rising star, who sings country music, was phenomenal today Aug. 7 at the Miller stage where she performed for almost two hours. Armed with her trusty Martin acoustic guitar and her powerful and wide-ranging vocals, Nora proved without a shadow of a doubt that she's got all the ingredients that it takes to be a star on the national level.

Nora played to great crowds both today and yesterday, where she handed in three sets during her four hours at the new Knucklehead stage at State Fair. Nora's set lists have been evolving this summer to include some new originals that vividly paint her vision as an inspired singer-songwriter and really give her the room to show off some of the spunkier and sassier aspects of her personality. All the while, Collins remains one of the most humble, honest, down-to-earth and charming people in the Milwaukee music scene. Nora's strong spirit and her intense determination towards her career as a musician is something you have to admire about her. At 20 years old Nora knows what she wants and she's reaching for it with all of her energy.

During her first set today at the Miller stage Collins performed an outstanding rendition of a song she co-wrote with Kevan Kirk, "Nothing To Do With Me," that shined brightly on all levels and is available on her most recent CD, "Only The Beginning." Nora also performed a new song that she's calling "Gas Station Rose" that she co-wrote with Chris Hodgson. Sprinkled into the first set were some outstanding cover songs including Miranda Lambert's "More Like Her" and Carrie Underwood's "Undo It."

During Nora's second set she was remarkable on her original tune "Harley," an ode to a late night ride on the favored motorcycle of Wisconsin, home of Harley Davidson. She also performed a really gutsy and enchanting version of her new song titled "I'll Be Gone." Nora also performed a brilliant cover of Kacey Musgraves "The Trailer Song" and ended the show with a sublime rendition of Dolly Parton's classic song "Jolene," hitting and owning a high note near the end of the song that would make Parton proud.

Nora has a busy schedule of upcoming shows that can be found at her official website. Her most notable concert coming up will be an opening slot for Country Music Hall of Fame member Ronnie Milsap who will be performing at the Pabst Theater on Sept. 11.