Right out of the gate, Nikki Lane doesn’t pull punches. She’s aims and hits her target. Last year’s sophomore release, All or Nothin’, hits the bulls eye. As aptly displayed on the lead track, “Right Time”, the sassy Nashville songstress delivers classic country tunes with a mixed 60s folk and pop, and a rock chaser. You can catch the self-proclaimed “the First Lady of Outlaw Country” who returns to Portland to play the Doug Fir Lounge April 29.
Teaming with Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on All or Nothin’, Lane has delivered vintage album that covers all the bases. From her South Carolina roots, and her love of her mom’s Motown records and dad’s country cassettes, the album smart blend of classic country in a modern world. Lane expressed an awkwardness working with Auerbach during a March 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, as he made suggestions about adding, changing and reworking her material but after a few months she realized, and stated, “I found myself with a damn good record.”
With Auerback’s production and contribution, All or Nothin’ shines, and Lane dazzles with her versatility. The remaining album seamlessly covers the definitive country sound of “Right Time”, but easily shifts with the 60s tinged pop ballad of “Good Man”, and Motown flavored pop of “I Don’t Care”.
Despite her personal road of hard knocks, Lane’s music is the perfect release, noting “My songs always paint a pretty clear picture of what’s been going on in my life, so this is one moody record,” and adding, “There’s lots of talk of misbehaving and moving on.”
And while “Man Up”, “Out Of My Mind”, and “Wild One” are born of classic country balladry backed by Lane’s country twang and traditional lap steel guitar, she’s the first to point out, “There’s lots of talk of misbehaving and moving on.” And adds from her Rolling Stone interview, “I’m not misbehaving that badly, I’m just not making the shit that’s on country radio.”
But before you paint Lane in a box, be sure to catch a couple musical gems from All or Nothin’, including the straight shooting “Seein’ Double”, brimming with 60s surf rock, a la Nashville, and boot kickin “Sleep With A Stranger”, cause this rebel queen not lookin’ love, just a little danger.
In the end, All or Nothin concludes with the tender sentiment of “Want My Heart Back”. Another ode to 60s pop ballads and sweetly reminiscent of The Cascades hit, “Rhythm of the Rain”
Apri 29 will be the second show of her new tour as Lane kicks things off up the West coast from Los Angeles, to the Northwest and across the country for individual date and summer festival time. Saddle on up the Doug Fir and don’t miss your chance to catch the rising star of Nikki Lane. Cause she’s always ready to have some fun at right time.
Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. Tickets are $11, 21 and over. The show opens The Western Shore and The Lonesome Billies.