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90 Second Spin: Highway Queen by Nikki Lane


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (HAVIGHURST)  --  Highway Queen, the third album from Nashville country artist Nikki Lane, hit the streets February 17, just days after she played a smart set on Music City Roots.

Lane released her debut album back in 2011, but it was All or Nothin' - her 2014 collaboration with Dan Auerbach that really got her noticed. And what was easy to notice was that Lane loved to sport vintage western wear and have her picture made. Turns out her first career was actually in the fashion business in Los Angeles and New York.

But this was a case where the musical substance held up to the style. She writes and performs bold and vivid songs that ride the broken white line between country and rock and roll.

In the title track of Highway Queen, Lane blends her own story - burning up miles on the open road between shows - with a dash of myth making in the serial heart breaker character. She brings a Nancy Sinatra swing to the catchy and hard charging Vegas song "Jackpot." Elsewhere she achieves melancholy beauty with "Muddy Waters."

In the album art, Lane poses in a slinky black dress and cowboy hat on the back of some mean looking longhorn steers. The Nashville artist pulls off a hard trick - being authentic and a bit larger than life at the same time.