Nikki Lane – Black Widow
New West artist Nikki Lane straddles the fence between country-blues-rock and pop-rock, mostly eschewing the twang often accompanied with (and Vodka’s nemesis) Country music. Think of this style as a nod to outlaw country, a style of country that Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and their ilk brought to us in the past. Lane can sing a blistering threat like Black Widow (seen/heard here) with ease with a vocal touch of rawness that is very tuneful and pleasing. The effect of that is a set of music that is pleasing as heck! There are only two tracks available for Lane’s forthcoming LP, Denim & Diamonds (due out in September) of which Black Widow is one, so Vodka listened to those tracks and the previous LP, Highway Queen (February 2017), to get a feel for what to expect with the remaining tracks on Denim & Diamonds. We should all be in for a musical treat!
There is no bio on the artist’s website as yet, which is a negative, however, there is enough information out in the world to put together a little for this post. Nikki Lane released her first LP, Walk Of Shame, in 2011, following on the heels of a break-up with a country musician that inspired her to start writing her own country music. Following Shame, Lane teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who allowed her to record her second LP, All Or Nothin’ (2014) in his studio for free, and who also joined her on the duet, Love On Fire, on that LP. Highway Queen followed in 2017, with a diverse set of country, outlaw country, and country blues rock. When not recording and touring, Nikki Lane owns and operates High Class Hillbilly, a vintage clothing store in her current hometown of Nashville.
While the website does not contain a biography (yet), there is a placeholder ready to go, so I’m hopeful that this will be rectified soon. The site has other problems as well. Clicking the “Digital” link next to the Highway Queen LP goes to a 404 page, and the “Buy CD” and “Buy Vinyl” links next to that LP, bring up an “Opening Soon” message. All of this could be corrected by simply linking to her existing bandcamp.com site (which has no links that Vodka can find on the actual website), which contains the purchase options available for all of her music. The links next to the All Or Nothin’ LP, however, fare much better, returning Amazon purchase links for both CD and Vinyl and with the other links working as well. Again, though, all of those purchase options are available on Lane’s bandcamp.com site, which is linked nowhere. Walk Of Shame links also work.
These negatives aside, Nikki Lane is a talent worthy of your purchase dollars. You can pre-order Denim & Diamonds now, and get it when it is released in September. In the meantime, consider purchasing her back catalog through one of the working links noted above.
Note: Just when things were returning to a semblance of normality, the COVID 19 virus is again heating up in many areas of the country. It’s so disheartening to know that we have the tools to make this a non-event, by simply getting vaccinated and fully boosted. The virus has the potential, again, to shut down performances for musical artists. For this reason, artists such as Nikki Lane could still use your purchases. If your situation allows it, consider purchasing more in these tough times. Please, if you are physically able to do so, get vaccinated. — Vodka