Nikki Hill (from the album Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists) - Nikki Hill garnered a lot of attention with the musical promises contained on her self-titled E.P. debut. She has recently released a more formal album, Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists and has happily showed that Nikki Hill and the band keep their promises. There are a few things that you should prepare yourself for on Heavy Heart, Hard Fists. The album is never timid, unassuming, or quietly discrete about its love for old school rock’n’roll. The religious calling that took Little Richard from music in his prime circles back to earth as a spiritual infusion needed for the times in the vocals of Nikki Hill. While there is a lot of advice in the stories, Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists is not hear to lay a loving hand on your shoulder. The love that Nikki Hill and her band offer is a tough one, perfect for the groups brand of high energy Rock’n’Soul show.
While Nikki Hill has garnered accolades such as ‘The Southern Fireball’ and a ‘Rhythm and Blues shouter’ in an effort to crown her the new queen of Rock’n’Roll, her vocals are supported by the perfect wingman with the guitar work of husband, Matt Hill. Matt’s guitar playing is feral though his licks are never desperate attempts to fill with flash, or attack simply for the hunt. His playing roars without taking away from the power of wife Nikki’s voice, and his chord slashes leave a mark without ever drawing blood. Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists is “Struttin’” as it heads out on slinky dresses and high-heeled boots for a Friday night on the town. The band barrels in to demand the spotlight for the lady with the microphone as she explains “Mama, Wouldn’t Like It”, hammers a beat into submission as Nikki shouts out a resume stocked with bravado with “Oh My”, and slightly paces the beat to a slow sizzle on the title track. Nikki Hill channels Rod Stewart and the Faces as she steps center stage to lay out the rules in “(Let Me Tell You 'Bout) LUV”, and keeps close to The Faces arrangement of Sam Cooke’s “Twistin' the Night Away” to dance the crowd right out the door and into the street on the album closer.
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