2013 was the year of the Grambler! Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers embody so much of what this incredible city and area of the country have to offer from a musical standpoint and a general approach to life. Another Planet Entertainment manages the band, so I’ve have had the opportunity to witness the transformation of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers from the sideline. What started as part of a delicate, harmonizing folk duo alongside husband Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips), Nicki has propelled herself (and the Gramblers) into the spotlight of a true Americana-induced soul and blues rock band. There is something so honest about their energy as both musicians and human beings on and off the stage. Their shows are packed with familiar faces, smiles and a crowd that truly enjoys the sound this band absorbs from the fertile hills of Northern California. Backstage is filled with laughter and the sounds of their influences coming from vinyl records that bassist Steve Adams (ALO) collects on tour. While on stage, the Gramblers dance through folk numbers laced with four-part harmonies to soaring rock numbers that make you wonder what it might have sounded like if Fleetwood Mac and The Allman Brothers ever collaborated. If you get the chance to see Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, put on your dancing shoes and embrace the timeless traditions of Bay Area music that reside within them.
Eric Barleen is a talent buyer at Another Planet Entertainment who books The Independent, amongst other venues and festivals in the Bay Area.