Release date: September 27, 2011
In recent years, the country music landscape has become harder to traverse than ever before.
Increasingly a series of artists, with roots seemingly honed by the history of pop songcraft as opposed to the sawdust and cowboy boots approach the genre was spawned from, have made impressive inroads into what was once the most traditional of fields (I’m looking at you Rascal Flatts!).
Even the charts themselves have been transformed with crossover hits an almost commonplace occurrence thanks to acts like Bon Jovi, Aaron Lewis and former Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker, who have all taken their respective turns in the Nashville spotlight.
However, as is the case with most subjects that have begun to lean a little too close to the mainstream waters, there exists a chosen few who proudly wear the title of throwback performer around their shoulders with pride and defiance. Hello America. Meet Nikki Lane.
On her newest full-length release Walk of Shame, which was described in a recent Valley Advocate review as “more like a ‘walk of pride’ for the high school dropout turned country singer/songwriter, Lane rekindles the vocal stylings of such perennial favorites as Loretta Lynn, Nancy Sinatra, and Bobbie Gentry with often pleasing results.
For instance, standout number “Gone, Gone, Gone” reads like a classic kiss-off story sung over slide guitar squeals and galloping drums, making it the perfect way to say goodbye to either small town doldrums or a deceitful lover (maybe both).
Watch the official video for Nikki Lane’s “Gone, Gone, Gone” here:
Elsewhere, the disc’s title track appears to have been written straight out of the stereotypical country handbook and features a singer who wakes up with a “bass drum thumping in their head” as well as a stranger for their bunkmate. Though such plots have been used hundreds of times before, Lane manages to put her own spin on the proceedings and does so with attitude to spare.
While those seeking something with more modern flavor may be taken aback by such a retro-sounding record, the odds are good that many listeners will be won over by Lane’s sheer perseverance and obvious talent.
Like she sings on the album closing “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” she “just can’t keep from trying.” But with a little luck all her years of hard work may just be on the verge of paying off.
For more information on Nikki Lane please visit www.missnikkilane.com.
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