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ROCK 'N' ROLL | Nikki Hill

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I've been diggin' Nikki Hill since I first laid ears on her. With her blast furnace tirade full of ghosts, like Etta and Eartha and Tina, Nikki Hill embodies and defines vintage rock 'n' roll done right. Her voice shifts from a roar to coquettish purr and back again. Her attack is hammered home even harder with her ball and chain, Matt Hill, on guitar. Hill doesn't just play the guitar, he brandishes it like a bloody broad sword. The last two times I've seen the band, they were sporting another guitar player and were tossing in some rock music irony. It wasn't necessary, and I thought it filled in the blanks and took away from the stark, savage punch of the call and response that Nikki and Matt produce. It's those spaces between the notes, where the groove hangs out, that's gutsy and beautiful.

Nikki Hill plays Thursday, August 17, at Abilene Bar and Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way. 8:30 p.m. $20-$25. abilenebarandlounge.com; nikkihillmusic.com.

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