For Nikki Lane It’s All Or Nothin’

Read our review of Nikki Lane’s new release All Or Nothin




From Nashville, Nikki Lane’s second album, All Or Nothin’ will be released in Australia on September 5 on New West Records\Warner Music Australia.

It’s a classy, diverse outing, with nary a wrong move anywhere during its twelve tracks and 42.42 minutes.

Produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys), All Or Nothin’ is a rousing collection of songs that spans genres and exudes with Lane’s characteristic attitude and Southern swagger.  “I wrote with so many amazing musicians on this album but Dan was really instrumental in helping me figure out the direction we were going for,” Lane says.

Over the album, Lane sings tales about misbehaving, wanton desires, heartache, love and lust.  “It’s always the right time to do the wrong thing,” she repeats like a mantra during the infectious opener “Right Time” (see below) and that statement might well define All Or Nothin’.



“I really consider this album to be a Nikki Lane mixtape of my thoughts and the sounds that I’m into so that’s why you can’t put it in a neat box,” Lane says.

There certainly is a variety of flavors running through the material here.  All the songs are co-writes with Lane, with many of them penned by Lane and Auerbach.  In “Good Man” she’s cleaning up after her partner, waiting at home for him to return, dissatisfied, pleading for some much-needed love and affection – Dusty Springfield with twang.  By contrast, “I Don’t Care” pops and sizzles with grandeur, a la Elvis Costello and The Attractions (again, with twang).  It’ll have you on your feet and careering around the room (well, maybe for some of you!).  This is a pivotal track and the guitar is exemplary (see players below).




“You Can’t Talk To Me Like That” nails it – a sassy push back with a slow beauty.  Lane’s voice is a standout and the McCrary Sisters lend beautiful support.  “Seein’ Double” is a hurried tale with emotive, imperious, clanging guitar

“I got a hole in my heart…Mighty deep, cold and dark…Like a tunnel…It’s hard to breathe in this town…”

A stripped-down acoustic duet with Auerbach, “Love’s On Fire,” is another direction, again beautifully executed from a subdued beginning then cranking it up a piece.  Here Auerbach’s voice sounds great, but somehow different to his work with the Black Keys  – maybe the material is the difference?

More contrast with the title track which has a keyboard-inspired and blue-eyed funk feel, accentuated by wah-wah guitar.  “Sleep With a Stranger” has Lane in more country territory vocally and lyrically, but the instrumentation is more dense and rockier than you might expect.  “Man Up” is a definitive country-themed outing, trying to get her man to lift his game – I am reminded of the female take-no-rubbish-strength of fellow sassy lady Elizabeth Cook.

The plaintive ballad “Out of My Mind,” written with former touring partner J. Spaceman of Spiritualized, is delivered with majestic harmonies.  “Wild One” is a tale of a relationship in trouble and further advice is provided to her man ..maybe he’s better off alone anyway…  The final track has a bell-ringing, Phil Spector wall-of-sound quality that could belong to any number of girl groups on the 60’s.  The album showcases the many sides of Lane and her diverse influences.  It’s a worthy release indeed, guaranteed to prick up your ears.

The album was recorded in Nashville at Easy Eye Sound.  The players are top-notch:

Kenny Vaughan – guitar (a personal favorite of mine)
Patrick Keeler – drums
Russ Paul – pedal steel
Spencer Cullum Jr – pedal steel
Bobby Emmett – keys
Aaron Oliva – bass
Dave Roe – bass
Joshua Hedley – fiddle
The McCrary Sisters – backing vocals
Ralph Carney – horns


All Or Nothin’ out September 5 through New West Records\Warner Music Australia

Nikki Lane is part of

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Austin City Limits and

Out On The Weekend festival Melbourne Australia with various side shows in October 2014



Read our review of Nikki Lane’s new release All Or Nothin

Read our review of Nikki Lane’s new release All Or Nothin

Read our review of Nikki Lane’s new release All Or Nothin



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Author: Rob Dickens

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