Fans of Amy Winehouse, and fans of the music that Winehouse was a fan of — Tina Turner, Etta James, Irma Thomas and other gritty soul-rock singers — should take note: Nikki Hill has got it all, the grooves, the looks, and gruff combustible feel.
She sounds like she’s been mainlining the juice that powered Little Richard and the Rolling Stones. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but some artists go retro and their work sounds like a lifeless, if impressive, wax museum simulacrum of something from the past:
Hill sounds very alive and kicking. There’s smoke and fire to these songs.
Hill is from North Carolina, and along with the swirl of American rock and blues and soul, she’s got a Southern feel to her vocals. But you might detect a hint of AC/DC in there, too. Hill and her band will kick some rear end from the stage. The intimate Cafe Nine stage will be an ideal setting for maximum rock potential.
Nikki Hill plays at Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven, Sunday, Aug. 20, at 8:30 p.m. $15 to $20. 203-789-8281 and cafenine.com
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