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Nikki Lane’s third album Highway Queen, released February 17, places the young Nashville rebel among country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane and fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Tyler, and recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, Highway Queen is an emotional tour-de-force, blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage sixties country-pop swagger. Highway Queen is a journey through heartbreak that begins with a whiskey-soaked homage to Lane’s hometown (“700,000 Rednecks”) and ends on the profoundly raw “Forever Lasts Forever,” where Lane mourns a failed marriage. Rolling Stone Country’s Marissa R. Moss calls Highway Queen “a 10-track proclamation to the court of outlaw country: an amalgam of gritty twang, dirty blues and a whip-smart taste for dangerously delightful melody, it carries the torch of rebels like Wanda Jackson and Johnny Cash without trying to reclaim a bygone era. Like the title track declares, it’s always better to stay moving.” The queen herself hit the highway, kicking off her Highway Queen Tour February 22 in Birmingham, Alabama, culminating with performances at Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California, April 28-30. nikkilane.com