Outlaw Country Queen Nikki Lane Plays Brand New Album

Nikki Lane’s Saturday Lincoln Calling show wasn’t presented as a celebration of a record release. But since Queen of Outlaw Country’s fourth album “Denim & Diamonds” hit streaming and stores Friday, that’s exactly what has happened.

In the hour Lane and her formidable band spent on the Downtown Night Market stage, she played – by my count – seven of the 10 songs on the new record, her first since 2017’s “Highway Queen.” , the title cut from which became his signature song and the intro to his new material.

“‘Highway Queen'” is my favorite song. But after spending years in the van, I had to face the fact that it was me,” she said. “So I wrote new songs that I think are the best I’ve written.”

On Saturday, she went through her new songs starting with rocker “Born Tough.”

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Other new song highlights include: “Good Enough”, a song based on his grandparents’ longtime relationship, the inspirational “Try a Little Harder”, the pure rock ‘n’ roll of “Black Widow” and the end of the set blows the title cut.

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Lane’s spiritual background is the great Wanda Jackson, working in that space between rock ‘n’ roll and country. And, like Wanda, she’s a fashion plate for her time – on Saturday she wore a short black leather skirt and knee-length sequined boots.

Unlike Jackson, however, Lane is a funny spitfire. For example, she stopped a guy who was yelling at her from the edge of the stage saying, “I can’t tell if you’re heckling me or trying to go on a date.”

She also provided a little sightseeing advice to the audience who packed in front of the 14th Street stage.

“If you’re coming to Nashville on the weekend, you better be a damn bridesmaid,” she said. “Come Tuesday through Thursday, and only the east side and hang out with us honky tonkin’.”

The show, unfortunately, was plagued with commentary for its first 15-20 minutes. But once the sound was straightened out, it was great – and great fun to hear the new songs for the first time live.

Lane was in the middle of three girl bands on the Night Market stage on Saturday, proving once again that rock is far from dead.

The first was Kiss The Tiger, one of the best in Minneapolis. A classic two-guitar rock ‘n’ roll band, it’s fronted by Meghan Kreidler, who is a terrific expressive vocalist – as appeared on the slow-burning “Grown Ass Woman.”

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She also has a bit of Iggy in her – like in Iggy Pop – as she danced and jumped, rolled around on stage, put on a show in the best sense of the word.

With any luck, Kiss The Tiger, which made its debut at Lincoln on Saturday, will be back soon: their music rooted in the 70s is far from dated; they sound great and Kreidler is a force that cannot be denied.

Speaking of undeniable strengths, the Night Market wrapped up Saturday with The Velveteers, a trio from Denver consisting of guitarist/vocalist Demi Demitro and drummers Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig.

A percussion rock band (duh), The Velveteers have opened for Guns N’ Roses and Greta Van Fleet and are set to tour with The Black Keys, whose debut album Dan Auerbach produced.

But you really wouldn’t want to follow Demitro, who is a confident guitarist and charismatic performer, and the pounding drummers who crank out an intense – almost scary – rawk at high volume.

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Contact the editor at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com. On Twitter @KentWolgamott