Nikki Lane, born and raised in South Carolina, is only 25. But, judging by the wit and wisdom on her record Walk of Shame, she seems to have been plucked straight out of the era of '60s country. It's always refreshing to find a woman playing the part of the wayward rambler, and Lane happily assumes the role in her new record's ode to the South.
Many young singers are stalked by an ill-fitting, virtually unshakable descriptor, whether it's a limiting and vaguely dismissive adjective ("quirky," for example) or a limiting and vaguely dismissive noun ("songstress," to pick one that should be banished from the language and buried under 10,000 pounds of rock salt). For Nikki Lane, that descriptor seems to be "outlaw country" — a generally defensible expression, but one that can subtly imply an element of posturing, even posing.
Twin Cities alt-country singer Frankie Lee recently released his first full-length album, American Dreamer. It's a strong debut that reflects Lee's musical upbringing: His musician father died when Lee was 12, but his dad's friends were also musicians who took him to clubs where they were playing. Sometimes, they even parked him under the soundboard so he could soak up everything.