With all the rockabilly ruckus of classic old country players like Johnny Cash and Wanda Jackson, Nikki Lane releases her newest single, “Jackpot.” Her voice could easily stand up to female favorites from before her time, like Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, or Emmylou Harris, and her lyrics and saloon style playing transport listeners into a beer-drenched watering hole where everybody goes to get down.
The song starts with a rollicking riff of repeating notes, perfect for waggin’ your head and hips. The wild party of instruments naturally builds into busy drums, honky-tonk piano, and, of course, pedal steel, because no country song is complete without pedal steel.
Lane utilizes the perfect setting for her hootenanny anthem: Las Vegas. Using the vintage approach of comparing love to gambling, the song takes typical strides to describe her rotten luck seen in phrases like, “I was looking for sevens, they were coming in twos” or “Down to my last dime with no good news.” However, the use of commonality comes across as wildly appealing rather than off-putting and boring. It drops the listeners into a visual understanding of the casino party they have always imagined, perhaps laden with a few extra pairs of cowboy boots and plaid shirts.
Nikki Lane does not leave her listeners dangling on a string of bluesy sadness, but instead lifts their courage in the optimistic outcome of wild decision making. When the singer hits the “Jackpot” or finds love in her last spell of bad luck, the joint keeps rockin’ and the jig keeps jitterin’ as she spurs folks on to, “go all in/ And give it all you’ve got/ Put your quarter in the slot/ It’ll be jackpot.”