Nikki Lane Ups The Stakes With “Highway Queen” – Album Review – Streaming Preview

Nikki Lane

Highway Queen

9/10

Released by: New West Records

Release Date:  February 17 2017

Genre: Alt Country / Americana

Producer: Nikki Lane and Jonathan Tyler

Recorded At: Echo Lab Studios, Denton, TX.

Track list:

1. 700,000 Rednecks

2. Highway Queen

3. Lay You Down

4. Jackpot

5. Companion

6. Big Mouth

7. Foolish Heart

8. Sound The Sun

9. Muddy waters

10. Forever Lasts Forever

Almost three years after her critically acclaimed release “All Or Nothin’” (New West Records),  Nikki Lane’s eagerly anticipated 3rd album  “Highway Queen” is due out February 17th, 2017 on a wide variety of formats including LP, CD, Cassette, Streaming and Digital Download. In addition, Lane has been offering various signed copies, merch bundles and even test pressings to her eager fans via www.nikkilane.com.

Label it Outlaw or Alt Country or any other tag you choose, Nikki Lane’s mix of classic country , sixties pop and rock and roll swagger is about as far from the Top 40 Nashville hit machine as a purist could hope for. Produced by Lane and Jonathan Tyler “Highway Queen” is an unvarnished snapshot of a life on the road, the fun, loneliness, and loves won and lost. At center stage is Lane’s talent for writing songs of unrestrained candor delivered in her sultry twang with either defiant attitude or heartbreaking vulnerability.

Opening cut “700,000 Rednecks” with it’s yodeling “Yippie Ki Yay” is a restless and funky rallying cry for her fans as much as it is a manifesto of determination as Lane croons “I get tired of working my fingers to the bone, I get tiered of working everyday / But the people that tell me they want to hear my songs, they tell me they want to see me play.”  The autobiographical or maybe it’s more alter-ego, title track is another road song, with it’s sparse verse and driving chorus that makes the rhythm of the highways traveled come to life. It’s opening line of “Well I heard tell there’s a woman out there/ With tight blue jeans and long black hair” gives the song a tall tale like quality.

Over “Highway Queen’s” thirty seven minute run time Lane takes the listener on a Vegas like bender of wild new love with the rollicking “Jackpot”, reassures us with the tender “Companion”, it’s ethereal tremolo drenched arpeggiated chords straight out of The Everly Brothers play book, and cuts a rival down to size in the honky tonkin’ “Big Mouth”. All before closing the show with a haunting tale of love gone wrong that brings to mind the melancholy of Kris Kristofferson at his best, with  “Forever Lasts Forever” in which she laments “Forever lasts forever / Until forever becomes never again”

Highway Queen offers up a 10 song genre crossing ride of wild times and heartbreak that should appeal to music fans of many shades.

You don’t have to just take my word for it, Entertainment Weekly is currently streaming a free preview of the entire album here, so go check it out and if you like it, buy it on February 17th.

True to the theme of the album, the Highway Queen tour kicks off at The Factory in Franklin TN February 15th with dates throughout the US and Europe stretching into mid June.

 

mm
About Dave Burke 21 Articles
I'm a music photographer and writer from Oshkosh WI and have been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. I hope my photography will bring me closer to the music I love and create images that inspire others the way I’ve been inspired by my favorite bands & photographers. In addition to Facebook and twitter you can also follow me on Instagram @dave_burke_

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply