Funky diva Nikka Costa's second American release, Can'tneverdidnothin,' is not only a far cry from the pre-adolescent pop records or her youth, it's a smoker. As the daughter of the late Don Costa, a noted music arranger and band leader whose work in the late '60s and '70s can be heard all over the place, little Nikka definitely soaked up a few influences along the way. The girl has more natural soul than any 10 of the current crop of prefab "American Idols." Costa has one of those incredibly expressive voices that works just as well in a funked-out rave-up as it does a sultry ballad.
Comparisons to Janis Joplin and early Aretha Franklin are inevitable and obvious, but Costa seems to be channeling a more obscure goddess of funk: Betty Davis. From the opening squeal that kicks off the grammatically groovy "Till I Get to You" to the poignant "Fatherless Child" (a tribute to her late father), she weaves her way through 11 original tunes, with a tight backing band pushing the groove. Even guest star Lenny Kravitz takes a back seat, sitting in on drums and bass rather than his usual front and center. With such a plethora of safe, predictable music on the radio waves these days, it's a rush to get a taste of Costa's unique and appealing style. And whatever "it" is, she's got it.
Nikka Costa plays Smith's Olde Bar with Driveblind Mon., Oct. 17, 8 p.m. $15-$18. 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.
Killin it. So damn sexy
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…