Will Ray (The Hellecasters, Steve Earle) describes The Nikki O'Neill Band as "Chrissie Hynde singing to John Lennon in Otis Redding's kitchen."
Lead by singer, songwriter and lead guitarist Nikki O'Neill, this quartet appeals to fans of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Susan Tedeschi , George Harrison, Gov't Mule, Black Crowes, and fans of blues, r&b and americana world-wide. One fan described Nikki as "Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart combined - with the voice and guitar chops."
The Nikki O'Neill Band
Nikki O'Neill is a singer, lead guitar player and songwriter in LA. Her band appeals to fans of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Susan Tedeschi, Shelby Lynn, and Blues, R&B and Americana fans worldwide.
What sets her apart is her prominent lead guitar playing, soul shouter vocals, and a band sound that blends retro Memphis soul with classic British pop and rock. Like a more soul-flavored version of The Black Crowes and Gov't Mule. One fan also decribed Nikki as "Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart all in one person with the voice and guitar chops."
"Starting Over", "It's Simple (But It's Not Easy)", and "Some Day", features Nikki on vocals and all guitars. She co-produced the album with Dapo Torimiro, keyboardist for Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill.
Her band includes drummer Rich Lackowski, bass player Josh "Cartier" Cutsinger, and Hammond-player Harold Branch.
Through 2008, they're playing California festivals, fairs and club shows, as well as more intimate acoustic coffeeshop shows. They're playing in Chicago at a 4th of July festival.
In 2007, Nikki performed "Starting Over" on NBC's The Today Show in a segment with Bonnie Raitt and Sheila E. She has also performed on KTLA and Good Morning San Diego.
Coming from Santa Monica, by way of Sweden, Poland and New York City, Nikki is a cosmopolitan in the truest sense of the word. Daughter of a Polish mother and a war veteran father, who left the family with few clues about his past or nationality, Nikki moved to Stockholm, Sweden, at the age of seven. During one summer, she also lived in Poland.
Nikki is also the founder of Women's School of Rock, with a purpose to get more female guitar players onto the scene. In 2006, she was flown in to Sweden to be a guest clinician at an all-female rock college. In 2005, she taught the only university-level class in the U.S. in "Women's Contemporary Rock Guitar" at The New School in NYC.
In 2003, Nikki auditioned as the lead guitarist for Courtney Love by submitting a video to the international casting call. She got a call from Courtney, loving her playing and writing, but suggesting an image change to look more "Goth/Williamsburg."
"I'm a really bad actor - I only know how to be myself and if I fake it, my playing suffers too", Nikki says. "But that was a fun moment."
"Nikki's songwriting is a breath of fresh air. She breaks the mold without moving outside the boundaries of popular music. Her songs are infectious and satisfying and her solos are tasty and melodic. I always feel better after hearing her play."
- Ron Manus, Executive Vice President, Alfred Publishing
"Nikki O'Neill is like listening to Chrissie Hynde singing to John Lennon in Otis Redding's kitchen. She takes everything she's learned about life, puts it in a blender and pours out a glass of soul!"
- Will Ray (guitar player extraordinaire, The Hellecasters, Solomon Burke, etc.)