Featured Artist: Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers
East Coast, meet Nicki Bluhm. This San Franciscan has seven music-making years under her belt (five with the Gramblers, her current band made up of hubby Tim Bluhm, longtime pal and guitarist Deren Ney, bassist Steve Adams, rhythm guitarist Dave Mulligan, and drummer Mike Curry); two albums, with another on the way; and even a Gap campaign alongside fellow Jammers the Avett Brothers.
Pick apart their retro sound and you’ll find some soul, rock, folk, blues, and a little bit of country. But what’s most impressive is their harmony: each member contributes to the vocals, a smooth, steady chorus that’s understated but not in the least bit fragile. With Nicki’s singing — we’ll dare define it as a cross between the sexy Grace Potter war-cry and the controlled, sultry bellow of Linda Ronstadt — this band packs quite the slow punch. I’m famous for my analogies, so let’s just say their sound is like the warmth that radiates through your body after sipping a beautifully aged brandy… right before you get knocked to the floor.
Yes, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers will definitely floor you. Don’t hit your head on the way down.
Check out the band’s Hall & Oates cover on YouTube — which, as part of their insanely cool “Van Sessions” series, has reached over two million views to date — and you’ll see just why this group’s one to watch. (If not for Nicki and the Gramblers’ sheer talent, then, at the very least, for homegirl’s ability to work a kazoo while driving. Hot dayum.)