2018 Waukesha BluesFest Band Bios
NIKKI HILL
Saturday, August 11

 

The North Carolina-bred and New Orleans-based Nikki Hill released her latest album ‘Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists’ via Deep Fryed Records in 2015. Buoyed by her band’s roaring boogie that’s equal parts Staple Singers and AC/DC, this album sees Nikki exude a self-assured swagger as her fiery rasp preaches the rock & roll gospel: late nights, hot licks, and intoxicating love.

Raised in the church choir and steeped in R&B and garage rock rumble, Nikki Hill is a spitfire with the soul-drenched voice of Etta James and the tattooed, bee-hived-hair aura of Cramps’ guitarist Poison Ivy. ‘Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists’ is a showcase for Nikki’s unfettered versatility, whether it’s the debauched bluster of “Struttin'”, the Stonesy barn-burning blues of “(Let Me Tell You ‘Bout) LUV”, or the touching soul ballad “Nothin’ With You”.

Just a couple years ago, Nikki Hill was a bartender with an affinity for punk and a deep love for classic R&B. At her husband (and now guitar-player) Matt Hill’s behest, she stepped out from behind the bar and onto the stage. The response has been ecstatic, and the band tours the globe relentlessly, stunning audiences with their muscular sound, Matt’s volcanic leads, and, of course, Nikki’s inimitable charisma.

Nikki Hill’s self-titled, independently released EP in June of 2012 created a heavy and sudden international underground buzz that the band has traveled with across America and overseas to Europe and Australia. Those four tunes penned by Hill, combined with memorable live performances, have drawn a wide range of people from every avenue and musical taste to their shows. Her enthusiasm for music is simply contagious. One club advertisement called Nikki “The Southern Fireball”, “the New Soul Sensation”, “amazing R&B Shouter”, and even “the new Queen of Rock n’ Roll”. Nikki followed her 2012 EP, with a debut album ‘Here’s Nikki Hill’, released in 2013 and the most recent independent 2015 release ‘Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists’.

With a no-filter energy, and explosive live show that now includes acclaimed blues guitarist Laura Chavez, they deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock ‘n’ roll again! Nikki’s unique voice—with raw rock and soul dynamics mixed with the strength, passion, and honesty of blues shouters of the past—steers the driving guitar and a tight rhythm section to create a breath of fresh air with their fast forward approach to American roots music.


Praise for Nikki Hill:

“The fast-rising, hard-charging, 20-something, North Carolina born-and-bred singer Nikki Hill has more than earned her evocative “Southern Fireball” moniker. “
— LA Weekly

“If Tina Turner and Little Richard had a daughter and raised her with the help of uncles James Brown and Chuck Berry, she’d be like Nikki Hill.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Hill is a petite powerhouse, with a booming voice that is as sweet and luscious as it is gritty and raw.”
— Portland Monthly

“Channels such rhythm and blues greats as LaVern Baker, Etta James and Ruth Brown–with a little Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke thrown in for good measure. Hill is the real deal…steeped in gospel and soul, wrapped up in a punk rock DIY ethic.”
— Time Out Los Angeles

“A rich, sultry voice…weaned on the church choir and burnished by an enthusiast’s love of good music.”
— Indy Week
 


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