From the opening notes of “Ask Yourself,” the lead cut on the album “Here’s Nikki Hill,” it’s clear that we’re hearing an exciting new voice in roots music. Raw, full and growling (but not gimmicky growing), in control but just on the edge of anger — that’s Nikki Hill‘s vocal style. And it has made an impact overseas already.
“Europeans love American roots music, and thank goodness they do, because somebody has to,” Hill said, laughing, on this podcast. “It’s cool to see people somewhere else really, really appreciating American music so much. I mean, gosh, it makes you appreciate it that much more. And it makes you go home and want to make Americans appreciate it that much more. So it all ties together.”
But Hill thinks her style, and a rocking band that features her husband, guitarist Matt Hill, will translate in the country where it originated.
“We’re seeing that happen, too,” she said. “American roots is really forcing its way … We’re seeing the difference as we’re traveling the states and seeing the response to live music. And it seems like something that people do want to support again, and I’ve got big time faith in it.”
This podcast includes the two opening cuts, “Ask Yourself” and “Her Destination.”
“I just wanted to write two cool rock ‘n’ roll tunes,” Hill said. “I think they’re both just really cool tunes for people to groove to.”
It closes with the soulful meditation, “Hymn for Hard Times,” which features only Hill and her husband’s bluesy, tremelo-soaked guitar.
Nikki Hill is the real deal. And I’m not one to make predictions, but after hearing this stuff, I think she’ll be a big deal, sooner rather than later.