Hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice…these could all describe Nikki Talley. Raised in North Carolina and hailing from Asheville, it’s only fitting that her music is as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Trying to pin down Nikki’s style, critics and reviewers alike have compared her to an early Liz Phair and Gillian Welch, but to leave the comparisons there would be doing a disservice to her fiery stage performance, hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics, lifted by a voice that harkens back to the Appalachian roots from which she was born, and shores up on the edges of contemporary southern rock, country, blues, and jazz that has her audiences stomping and clapping for more.
Nikki’s energy is as big as her voice and has taken her over all over the Southeast, playing such prestigious festivals as Magnolia Fest in Live Oak, FL to the Shakori Hills Festival in Pittsboro, NC. She’s had the pleasure of opening for such national acts as Edwin McCain and Susan Tedeschi.
Nikki’s latest release Beautiful Charmer has definitely upped the ante production-wise and has a decidedly more country feel. For this project she had a lot of help from a number of collaborators including Grammy-winning alt-country icon Jim Lauderdale. It garnered the #7 spot in WNCW’s top 20 regional releases of 2010 and #23 in top 100 releases.
Talley’s always silken, yet adaptable voice is on full display on this album, whispering sweet nothings to the listener on some songs (as on the title track), belting out her passion with full desperate power on others (as on “Fugitives”) and crooning out her heartache honky-tonk style as on “Don’t Stand” or “Sing Him Away.” –Bold Life Magazine
One thing she isn’t: afraid of the microphone. Talley has undeniable stage presence… –Mountain Express [+]