Growing up in South Carolina, Nikki Lane loved her mom's Motown records and her dad's country cassettes, but she'd also sneak to see alt-rock and punk shows. All those influences come through on her new album, All or Nothin', which was produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.
The 30-year-old Lane calls herself "the First Lady of Outlaw Country," and there's plenty of heartbreak, violence and anonymous sex in her songs (see "Sleep With a Stranger," where she sings, "You can call me anything you want to/Just don't call me after tonight").
"I'm not misbehaving that badly," Lane says. "I'm just not making the shit that's on country radio."
Nicole Lane Frady's goal after dropping out of high school was to have a clothing line, not a record deal.
But while working as a stylist and designer in New York, she started writing songs and soon landed a record deal (her 2011 debut was called Walk of Shame).
Lane moved to Nashville with her dog (Tammy Faye Barker) and (now ex-) husband, and opened a pop-up vintage store, High Class Hillbilly. There she met Auerbach, who was stunned by her songs. "They're old and new at the same time," he says. "And she can fucking sing."
But old habits die hard: Lane still collects vintage pieces while on tour, stopping off in small towns to scour antique shops.
"If you go into an antique store and there's a 1940s letterman jacket for $25," she says, "what the hell are you supposed to do?" By Elisabeth Garber-Paul