For Nikki O’Neill, the musical highlights just kept on coming in 2019: recording at Royal Studios in Memphis; performing at AmericanaFest; getting her first interview in Guitar Player Magazine, and launching a guitar lesson channel on TrueFire.com called Nikki O’Neill’s Twang, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Her 2020 album, World is Waiting, is a tapestry of rhythm & blues, gospel, americana and blues, woven together by an inspired and nuanced five-piece band fronted by O’Neill, who leads the way with unforced vocals, tasty guitar playing, and a way of writing songs that UK blues critic Norman Darwen has described as “raw and rootsy with a huge soul influence, a conscience, a positive message, and some neat hooks.”
O’Neill’s musical diversity might be a consequence of her upbringing: born in Los Angeles, she moved to Sweden when her Polish mother remarried, and grew up in a tri-lingual household in Stockholm. “Nobody in my family played instruments”, she says. “But our record player always went on heavy rotation with my mom’s collection of Al Green, Dinah Washington, and Polish cabaret and pop songs from the 30’s and 60’s.”
Today’s premiere for her single “A Man For All Seasons,” captures some of this diversity as she goes heavily with the Blues, playing with the much pure old school sounds while injecting some subtle modern sensibilities through it.
About the song, O’Neill comments “This has a swampy groove. It’s the bluesiest song on the album, with a greasy slide guitar and tinkling piano adding color to the story. It’s about a woman who wants a dependable man — not some fair-weather valentine that’s fleeting like cologne.”