An olden forgotten should be classic gets dusted down shaken up and released on vinyl here in Europe for the first time just prior to Christmas and thank Gawd! Nikki first came to our attention with her ‘Feline Roots’ album and we were impressed with her Blues meets Rock and Roll tunes and a voice that was as soft as Marshmallow and as loud as a clap of thunder.
As good as Nikki might be on record I’m sure she comes alive and playing Rock and Roll shows so Covid and all the shutdowns haven’t been good to her but we’ll have to make do and this delve into the back catalogue is a welcome relief from all these here lockdowns.
Think the obvious -Tina turner (for that soaring vocal), Joplin (for that raw blues n soul), DC (for the volume and Rock and Rolla) and hell yeah The Bellrays for lighting the touchpaper for all this noise. All this talent would be irrelevant if Hill didn’t have the songs to back it all up and walking the walk as well as talking the talk is something Nikki Hill most certainly does. Take ‘Oh My’ for some straight down the line boogie-woogie Rock and Roll that just kicks out the jams old school. or the Stonesy ‘Struttin’ ‘ that comes from the same school as The Black Crowes did.
The shake and shimmer of the more laid back darker ‘And I Wonder’ makes way for the glorious Faces barroom of (Let Me Tell You Bout) Luv’ it’s sunshine Rock and Roll that deserves to be heard and to compliment Hills vocals the rollicking barroom joanna playing is wonderful. It’s definitely the more swaggering staggering blues numbers that steal the show here. ‘Hot Shot’ is gloriously confident and the lyrics “Too little ain’t enough for me” is about spot on. The licks might be as old as time but the delivery is superb and that solo hits the spot.
It’s not all bluster and partying because tucked in the tail is the stingingly beautiful soulful ‘Nothing With You’ where Hill shows restraint again playing the song, which is excellent, rather than just wailing and less is certainly more here. But wait, the yang to the balladry is ‘Scratch Back’ that was surely written to be rocked out live which is where all this leads – Live has to be the place to hear this album much like the excellent ‘Feline Roots’ as an artist you can see Hill growing from one record to the next and this is a well-rounded place to start full of top tunes handled by professionals who clearly believe in what they do and if Rockin is their business then business is good…no business is great. Check it out and come join us in twistin’ the night away.
Author: Dom Daley