The term "badass" gets tossed around a lot at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, but few performers have showed themselves as fully worthy of the adjective as neo-rockabilly-Western singer Nikki Lane during her afternoon set Saturday.
With her nimble quartet's support, Lane, who spent about seven years in Los Angeles pursuing dual passions for music and fashion before moving to New York and then Nashville, unleashed pipes of razored steel on take-no-prisoners originals including "Man Up" and "Sleep With a Stranger."
She concluded with an edgy rendition of the Gram Parsons-era Byrds' arrangement of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," then confidently told a few hundred onlookers that she expects to return to Stagecoach one day as a headliner.
"Think I'll work my way up to playing about 8:15 next year," she told The Times backstage after her midafternoon set.
On Sunday she will return to Los Angeles to headline a "Hollywood Palomino" night show at the Roxy in West Hollywood. It's a reference to the venerated, long-defunct Palomino Club in North Hollywood; the venue was the most important spot for country music for several decades until it closed in the 1990s.
Also on the bill with her will be Daniel Romano, Lindi Ortega and John Moreland, all of whom also will play Stagecoach beforehand.