Nikki Lane's barroom country rock kicked off day two of Mountain Jam (June 5) with plenty of power and lots of country sneer. The band was tight as hell and did a splendid job filling up the venue with sound -- despite the early-Friday afternoon crowd.

And Lane -- who recalls Wanda Jackson, Waylon Jennings and Lucinda Williams for sheer attitude and twang -- alternated between hooks that split through the air like arrows and stage banter that skewered ex-husbands and exalted the great American anonymous hookup. Behind her, bass lines popped like firecrackers and slide guitars and pedal steel rolled and swelled. "Man Up," Lane's best hook, backed by her crack band, was beer hall ecstasy.

Not bad, for a band that barely made it in. "I misunderstood," Lane admitted on stage. "I thought we were playing tomorrow."