Yippie-Ki-Yay is the horn blast that signals Nikki Lane behind the wheel of a big rig as she steers Highway Queen onto the new release road. A low rumble, like the engine of a semi, growls as Nikki guides the album into opener “700,000 Rednecks”. She admits to ‘long hours and I don’t get to shower” as the tune aims for the audience she knows will get her to the top, a spot that Nikki has been giving notice to since she picked up a microphone. Fashion design is where Nikki Lane found herself after quitting high school in her native Greenville, South Carolina. She relocated to Los Angeles then New York City before settling in Nashville to open her own clothing store, High Class Hillbilly. Nikki Lane began songwriting to work through a bad relationship, her songs taking her to live performing and her statuesque form perfect for center stage window dressing.
The top of her head will need to place the crown of Highway Queen at an angle so Nikki Lane can make room for her ascension to the Queen of Outlaw Country with her third album release. The title track makes its way in on a fluttering heartbeat rhythm as Nikki Lane tells the tale of ‘60,000 miles of blacktop, countless broken hearts between’ claiming ‘you can tie her down with a Marlboro light but the highway queen don’t need no king’. Highway Queen rants and roars down asphalt ribbons taking exits for heartbreak with rubbery guitar twang as it searches for a “Companion”, puts a hard beat down to support a “Foolish Heart”, strums a caffeinated rhythm to chase love into the setting sun with “Lay You Down”, and stretches out on waves of pedal steel as it tans the ‘lighter shade of skin’ left from a missing ring on the sad Country sway in “Forever Lasts Forever”. Nikki Lane knows that ‘love is the most unavoidable thing in the world. The person you pick could be half set-up to destroy your life with their own habits – I’ve certainly experienced that before and taken way too long to get out of that mistake’. Pitfalls and high times score the soundtrack for Highway Queen as Nikki Lane hits a “Jackpot” on a wild love ride through Las Vegas as she wipes the tears of small town talk in “Big Mouth”, and swims “Muddy Water” with strokes of confessional denial.