Album Review: Nikki Lane – Highway Queen

In this era of manufactured blonde Barbie Doll country queens, the landscape is crying out for authenticity and truth. Nikki Lane has answered that call.

With her third album, Highway Queen, set for release on February 17th via New West Records, Lane bares her soul. In the grand tradition of the lauded female pioneers of traditional country, she puts her own vintage-inspired spin on the outlaw genre, her pistols locked and loaded.  Backed by the illustrious Texas Gentlemen, Lane’s ten-song collection of stories is a sure-fire shot of solidarity with those who have come before her.

She thrusts her flag into the ground with a cowgirl yell and recounts her story in album opener “700,000 Rednecks”—“I get tired of working my fingers to the bone, I get tired of working every day,” she admits, but vows that no one is going to stop her. The title track relays the story of a fiercely independent woman, “16,000 miles of blacktop, countless broken hearts between…the Highway Queen don’t need no king,” she sings in her raspy, smokey voice.  “Jackpot, I hit the number, it was always you,” our heroine declares in album standout “Jackpot,” a rollicking dance floor draw that brims with wild excitement. She throws down the gauntlet, as she calls out a gossipmonger in “Big Mouth;” “The only ring left on my finger is a lighter shade of skin,” she laments of a failed marriage in the yearning “Forever Lasts Forever.”

In Highway Queen, Nikki Lane shows no fear as she shares her dreams, her fears, her joys, and her pain, in utterly refreshing fashion. She doesn’t abide by the Nashville machine, she won’t fit into the box. She fights for independence, and does not compromise who she is to get what she wants—a timely and empowering message for women everywhere. 

Purchase Highway Queenhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/highway-queen/id1176281818

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Susan Hubbard

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