Hot off of Lainey Wilson’s CMA wins, Carra Stasney—under her much-adored “Mamma Coal” moniker—opened for the country songwriter during her Tucson gig at the Rialto Theatre. Stasney is no stranger to big stages. She made a name for herself on the Pacific Northwest’s roots circuit before moving to the Southwest and quickly becoming a top staple of its country scene. However, working with Wilson last November reignited a flame in her artistry that informed much of her new album, Dance Hall Crush.
Mamma Coal’s latest album has varied theming, telling stories about love and marriage, depressive ruts, and mezcal binges within a classic country fold. Her warm, expressive vocal delivery, matched with a fine mix of bass, drums, fiddle, and pedal steel, recalls the best red dirt, outlaw country, and Southern soul in a contemporary package. Dance Hall Crush features a who’s-who of top brass Tucson musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Alvin Blaine, bassist Thøger Lund, drummer Arthur Vint, and fiddler Nick Coventry (The Black Market Trust, Tucsonics).
Mamma Coal is premiering Dance Hall Crush’s titular single with PopMatters before the record’s release. It begins with a comforting kick of a country riff before Stasney delivers her raspy croon against its up-tempo beat. It’s an ode to Stasney’s time as Mamma Coal sings in packed honky-tonks, and expresses the “crush” she has on the scene each time that the dance floor is packed. It’s an instantly identifiable dance tune suitable for a two-step at the venues Stasney is crushing on and a coolly optimistic nod to the looming album release.
Mamma Coal will be celebrating the release of Dance Hall Crush on 14 September at the Maverick in Tucson.