Original Midwestern Roots Rock...

not quite country, not quite pop, not quite rock-n-roll!

0:00/???
  1. 1
    Your price

    Where Do I Begin (live)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/4:47
  2. 2
    Your price

    Treasure

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/4:21
  3. 3
    Your price

    Love On Fire (live)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/3:49
  4. 4
    Your price

    Fly Like An Eagle (live)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/4:26
  5. 5
    Your price

    It's Time (live)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/5:33
  6. 6
    Your price

    The Road - Nikki Lunden - depends on the weather (2007)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/4:00
  7. 7
    Your price

    Jamie (live)

    Track download

    Please choose a price: $ USD ($0.00 or more)

    Please choose a price:

    or close Download
    0:00/3:42

Join our mailing list for the latest news

What's the word!

What the Heck Have We Been Doing!  

Hiya Friends!

Over the summer we've been super busy and super lazy both at the same time. With some clusters of shows here and there, some band member injuries, and out of state vacations we admit our calendar has been a bit sporadic! Smudge broke his foot, I have been working through a terrible case of tennis elbow and our pedal steel player Marty had a broken finger involving surgery and quite a bit of recovery time. It's been a summer, lol. As Marty has recently decided to leave the band we are on the hunt for a new lead! We haven't decided on anyone just yet and are considering different instrumentation, a guitarist, keyboardist, violinist, we just aren't sure what direction we want to go. As these things usually present themselves when the fit is right, we will know when it happens and will let ya'll know as soon as it does! We are still playing some shows however, whether it be full band or just Smudge and I doing our duo.

This winter we will be moving out of Smudge's garage to Dennis's basement to make a new record! We will have the isolation there that we can't get in our rehersal space. We are super excited about this as over the last several months I've written a healthy handful of new tunes and can't wait to start working on them in the studio. This will be my first record since graduating from Los Angeles Recording School and I'm stoked to finally make a full length record actually knowing what I'm doing this time around.We have all the gear we need with our 24 channel Persons Studio Live console and have acquired plenty of mic's to get all the sounds I want without having to compromise. This is going to be a fun and adventurous project and will be fulfilling my latest dream of making a real full band record. If you need your Natural Habits fix before then, you can download our live album from NYE 2018 at The Moose Lodge Iowa City from this site for whatever price you want - which can be free - but if you'd like to help us keep the gas in our tank we'd love it if you could throw down something! 

Much love to ya!!

Nikki <3 

Oh yeah, I've uploaded an acoustic version of "Treasure" as a teaser for what we will be working on this winter!!

Lunden, Mill team up for Feb. 6 Fed Worker Benefit 

by Christine Hawes | Jan 31, 2019 TheRealMainstream.com

Many federal workers and contractors haven’t yet been paid, won’t receive back pay, or had to take on additional costs to get by during the shutdown. They still need help. 

Nikki Lunden, Iowa native, has a history of standing up for people in need, or who are marginalized. 

She became an ally of the transgender community during her six years living in Los Angeles. Back in 2014, she co-wrote a song titled “Savage Line” to honor troops serving in the Middle East that became part of a movie. Before that, she spent some time mentoring young people through United Action for Youth on how to be your authentic LGBTQ self, even if you’re a public figure. 

Now, Lunden is taking on a new cause: supporting federal employees who are still going without wages a week after the government shutdown ended. She and her band Natural Habits, are joining with four other diverse bands for the Fed Workers Relief Fundraiser, a Feb. 6 benefit at The Mill. 

These five bands will perform from 6 to 10 p.m. A donation is requested at the door. 

Becca Sutlive 
Sharon Jackson 
Cedar County Cobras 
Rattlesnake Master 
Nikki Lunden’s Natural Habits 

“I just got tired of crying and watching all these people suffer,” said Lunden, who grew up in Franklin, Iowa. “I decided, ‘We have to do something. I can’t just sit here and watch these stories and not try to do something.’ I don’t know why I didn’t try to do this weeks ago.” 

The Federal Workers Relief Fundraiser will raise money for three secure funds for  federal employees who are still waiting for back pay, won’t receive any back pay, or are struggling with the additional costs they incurred while going without pay.

The Midwestern roots rock of Lunden’s Natural Habits will be joined by the Americana music of Becca Sutlive; pop vocalist Sharon Jackson; bluegrass masters Cedar County Cobras; and the grungy folk of Rattlesnake Master. 

“I became really heartbroken when Nikki shared her idea about raising money for all these people,” said Edward Hudgens, aka “Smudge,” one of Lunden’s bandmates. “I’m crying, Nikki’s crying …. Somehow, all this came about, and this is what we want to do to help out.”

Lunden has been part of the music industry for about 20 years. She helped found the band Lunden Reign during her six years in Los Angeles and also lived briefly in Colorado. Lunden returned to Iowa City in August, and her band has performed at Riverside Casino and other Corridor area venues. 

In addition to the Feb. 6 concert, Lunden has started taking online donations. You can click here to donate to Iowa Musicians for Federal Workers.

See the full article complete with videos from some of our performers here!

 

There's no place like home. 

After a 6 year long journey in Los Angeles, CA acting as front woman and co-writer for Lunden Reign, I've returned home to Iowa City, IA  - and feeling fully revived! I'm very proud of the work I did with my partners out there - the records we made, incredible shows, tour, connections, studios (freakin' Capitol AND Abbey Road!) and so much more. I wouldn't give any of it back for a second. But in the course of living the L.A. life,  I've learned there truly is no place like home and it was time to get back to my roots. I've been doing just that since arriving back home mid-August by way of a beautiful and cathartic 4 day drive across 7 states with my scruffy little mutt, Olive. Currently I am working on getting the new (old) band, Natural Habits, up to speed on 4 hours of material as well as getting my solo show together with my looper and multiple instruments. 

I've recently received my degree in Recording Arts through Los Angeles Film School. I'm well versed in the studio and live setting, both are my favorite! I love the excitement of running sound for live shows, getting to know the eclectic mix of bands that come through and doing everything I can to help them relax and have a great performance. In the studio, grinding on parts until they're perfect (including all our perfect mistakes), setting up mics and getting sounds, twisting knobs, pushing faders... it gives me dirty feelings, HA! The recording process can be meditative for me, I really get into it and it's obvious in both the studio and the club that I'm really in my element. 

My passion is being the musician AND the engineer, but it doesn't have to be at the same time. 

Over the last 20 years I've/we've released a total of 8 records with my Iowa City crew. This includes 2 Trollies, 4 solo, 1 Heinous Canis, and Nikki Lunden Trio live at the Java House. My usual suspects include Natalie Brown - violin, Michael Fett - guitar, Marty Letz - pedal steel, Matt Wright (Euforquestra) - keys, Adam Grosso (Euforqestra) - bass, Dennis Wendt - bass, Seth "Puma" Koenig - drums, and The One and Only Smudge on hand percussion. Of course I add some tasty spices here and there when the song calls for it and we have some really great musicians in the area to call when the opportunity arises. You never know when you need a clarinetist, sax player, hey - even a broom player! Yes, broom. If you listen to "What Am I Doin' Here" (depends on the weather), you will hear Turk McAllister sweepin' away. HA! 

We've got some shows already on the calendar, be sure to check out the shows page for that and be sure to listen and share some of the nostalgic tracks I've put up to tide you over until we get some new stuff recorded and mixed!  Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Looking forward to meeting you at a show!

Fresh Breaths and Natural Habits 

Natural Habits

The main course here is well... me, haha! I, Nikki Lunden, am a singer songwriter and sassy front woman. I write all of our songs - a mixed bag of love songs, heartbreakers, self reflection in what I call "midwestern roots rock" genre. "What the heck is midwestern roots rock?" I can hear you asking yourself with your head tilted sideways. Well let me tell you. It's my own made up style that I define as "not quite country, not quite pop, not quite rock-n-roll." We have flavors of Folk, Pop, Punk, Rock, Americana, Bluegrass and Country but rarely single one of these genres out at a time. We kinda just take all the genres and blend em up together like mashed potatoes! Hope that makes sense to you. HA!  :)

On drums we have my bestie Seth "Puma" Koenig who has played with me for a million years - well ok, its only been 19 but it feels like a lifetime LOL. Puma has been with me since our first band The Trollies (est. 2000) and several other incarnations of my music. Although we've both come and gone from Iowa City here and there, we're forever bandmates and I'll work with no one else when it comes to the drum kit.

 Then we have our gentle giant Dennis Wendt on bass. Dennis joined Puma and I in the later years of The Trollies. When I decided to come home Dennis was a natural choice for me. I don't think I finished my sentence asking him to join in before he said he'd love to play with us again.

And of course The One and Only Smudge (Ed Hudgens) on hand percussion. Smudge is my business partner, father in-law (ex) and biggest supporter. Without him, we would not have this great new gear and space to make our music! If you haven't seen him play with us from previous years, you can't miss him rockin' out on his gargantuan percussion set up! He brings such life to the show and some super tasty parts that adds another dimension to our sound.

Keep on Rockin' Ya'll! <3 Nikki