North Carolina-bred and New Orleans-based Nikki Hill was raised in the church choir and steeped in R&B and garage rock rumble. Nikki transcends easy categorization- a spitfire with the soul-drenched voice of Etta James and the tattooed, untamable aura of a punk rocker. Just a few years ago, Nikki was a bartender with an affinity for punk and a deep love for classic R&B. At her husband Matt’s behest, she stepped out from behind the bar and onto the stage. The response was instant and electric, stunning audiences with the band’s muscular sound and Nikki’s voice and inimitable charisma.
Hill and her band have been touring extensively following the independent 2015 release Heavy Hearts Hard Fists and debut album Here’s Nikki Hill, released in 2013. With a no-filter energy and explosive live show, they deliver a sound that will make you believe in the power of rock ‘n’ roll again. Nikki’s unique voice—raw rock and soul dynamics mixed with the passion and honesty of blues shouters of the past—steers driving guitar and a tight rhythm section to create a breath of fresh air for the blues. The band includes Matt Hill on guitar, Nick Gaitan on bass, Chuck Cotton on drums, and Laura Chavez on guitar. (Chavez, lead guitarist for the Candye Kane band for many years, is a blues guitar master from California who’s been compared to everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Freddie King, yet commands a playing style and sound that are truly unique.)
“It would be easy to just be a blues shouter; that’s a lot of fun,” Hill said. “But it’s always important and a challenge to get your point across when you’re not shouting. I credit learning that vocal control to being in gospel choirs, because that’s where you have to be soft or be harsh.”
Those who have seen Carolina girl Nikki Hill sing her ass off agree—this isn’t just another newcomer on the scene. Where did this fireball come from? Why haven’t I heard of her before? If you haven’t heard of Nikki Hill yet, you soon will, and once you see her perform, you won’t forget her.
“If Tina Turner and Little Richard had a daughter and raised her with the help of uncles James Brown and Chuck Berry, she’d be like Nikki Hill.”— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Channels such rhythm and blues greats as Etta James and Ruth Brown–with a little Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke thrown in for good measure. Hill is the real deal…steeped in gospel and soul, wrapped up in a punk rock DIY ethic.”— Time Out Los Angeles
Code Blues was founded by Rick Munoz to provide a home for his soulful harmonica playing and emphatic vocal style, forged in a blues furnace and road tested on stages over the last 20 years. Joining him on the front line is Craig Louis Dingman, aka “Big Daddy”, on guitar and vocals. Big Daddy brings a jazzy touch to the proceedings with guitar and vocal incitement, and maybe a laugh or two. The bottom end is held up by Bud McCabe on bass and Mike Smothers on drums, who both bring wide ranging professional experience to the business of providing the glide to the ride. To learn more about Code Blues visit http://www.codebluesband.com/