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Nikki Hill - Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists (2015)

17-10-2015, 00:30
Music | Blues | Rock

Nikki Hill - Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists (2015)

Artist: Nikki Hill
Title Of Album: Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Blues Rock, Rock
Label: Deep Fryed Records
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 35:54
Total Size: 103 MB
Covers: Front

01. Heavy Hearts Hard Fists (3:16)
02. Oh My (2:25)
03. Struttin' (4:06)
04. And I Wonder (3:12)
05. (Let Me Tell You ' Bout) Luv (3:39)
06. I'm Gonna Love You (2:19)
07. Hotshot (4:05)
08. Mama Wouldn't Like It (2:41)
09. Nothin' With You (3:34)
10. Scratch Back (2:09)
11. Twistin' The Night Away (4:22)

Nikki Hill’s Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists is an album which sounds like it could been taken right from a live set list. The singer, along
with her guitar slinging husband Matt Hill, has been in almost constant touring mode for the past few years. Their brand new studio album sounds like it is a byproduct of their live performance sensibilities and flows like a well-crafted set list.

The Hills are again joined by bassist Ed Strohsahl and drummer/percussionist Joe Meyers. This rhythm section goes back with the Hills to Nikki’s debut album, 2013’s Here’s Nikki Hill. They are also part of her road band. Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists is a raw, stripped down affair where the sympathetic ensemble playing of this seasoned band is on full display. The only additional instrumentation comes from pianist Matt Farrell who adds a welcome dynamic on five tunes.

In between this brand new release and her 2013 debut, Hill appeared on a wonderful four song EP entitled, Soul Meets Country which was billed as Nikki Hill and Deke Dickerson with the Bo-Keys. The music on this somewhat self-explanatory offering in no way (at least for the moment) signaled a new direction for Hill.

With Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists listeners receive a huge dose of scorching rock&roll guitar from Matt Hill. Chunky riffs which will remind listeners of the late 60’s and early 70’s guitar work by Keith Richards with the Stones and of a pre-Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood, who was mining similar ground with Rod Stewart. What saves this album from being an annoying blues-rock train wreck is what Matt doesn’t play. He never gets stuck in a self-absorbed rut of lengthy solos which invariably take the momentum out of a song. Matt Hill’s playing is akin to the coal man whose relentless toil keeps the fire burning, the engine running and the train racing down the tracks.

The engineer of this runaway party train is Nikki Hill who wrote nine of the eleven songs on the CD. Nikki’s voice, which has an innocent, almost childlike charm, stands in sharp contrast to the dangerous assault Matt is applying to his instrument. The youthful urgency of her delivery is on full display here. One rocker after another comes at the listener at a frantic pace with all the zeal, energy and excitement that the Hills have been dishing out to live audiences night after night all over the world.

It should also be noted that the spirit of the late Nick Curran runs through Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists. The album was recorded and mixed by Billy Horton at his Fort Horton Studios in Wildwood, Texas. That is where Curran went to capture that elusive sound which lives in a place that reeks of vintage cool.

Like Curran, Nikki Hill, regardless of her muse, is a hit with blues audiences. She is a welcome sorbet at festivals where she is slotted next to older acts who could use the type of vivacity she brings to the stage. It is that same energy and vitality which can be heard on Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists. ~David Mac

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