Los Angeles-based blues-rock/country artist Nikki Wozzo recently released a brand-new album, Bad Whiskey, in collaboration with The Bad Whiskey.
Originally from Canada, Nikki Wozzo formed The Bad Whiskey when he moved to L.A. in 2018. Made up of a changing cast of musicians save one, bassist Ray Miller, The Bad Whiskey pumps out heady music conjuring up a blend of Hank Williams, Jr. and Van Halen.
While growing up in Calgary, Nikki immersed himself in music. After high school, he studied production and recording in film and music at Audio Production & Recording Arts (APRA) in Calgary. He then continues his studies at Selkirk College, followed by relocating to the UK, where he was lead vocalist with the heavy metal band Serpents Kiss.
Later, he enhanced his production, music, and business skills at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles. Now living in L.A., he works as a stage manager/production assistant at Whisky a Go-Go and Ultimate Jam Nights. Along with co-writing with Will Philpot and playing as a session musician, he also pursues his solo career as a country-rock artist.
The musicians appearing on Bad Whiskey include Nikki Wozzo (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards), Ray Miller (bass, vocals), Mike Mallais (drums), and Blair Shotts (drums).
Comprising seven tracks, the album starts off with “Wild Rose,” opening on distant platinum guitar tones flowing into a blues-inflected country tune riding a mid-tempo rhythm and controlled snarling guitars reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nikki’s deliciously rasping voice infuses the lyrics with passionate savors.
Highlights include “Lovers Song,” traveling on a fat bassline, and crisp percussion. Undulating on rolling harmonics, the song pushes out low-slung, dark coloration as Nikki narrates a tale of heartbreak and lost love.
“Old Man” kicks in with rollicking country-rock energy, supported by gleaming guitars, a banjo, and a hefty, driving rhythm. Whereas “Rowdy” pumps out wicked guitar aromas reminiscent of ZZ Top. Blistering layers of blues-rock with hints of country relish add to the song’s infectious pull.
The ultimate track, “All Night Long,” merges tasty textures of roiling boogie-woogie with guitars delivering glowering waves of down-and-dirty coloration.
On Bad Whiskey, Nikki Wozzo and The Bad Whiskey dish out growling blues-rock laced with scrummy washes of country-rock.