Nicki Bluhm

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Nicki Bluhm
Born (-09-22)September 22,
Origin Lafayette, California
Genres Rock, soul, Alt-Country, Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-Songwriter
Years active 5
Labels Little Sur Records
Associated acts Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Tim & Nicki Bluhm, Brokedown In Bakersfield, The Mother Hips
Website Nicki Bluhm
Members Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers: Tim Bluhm on keys/guitar/vocals, Deren Ney on lead guitar/vocals, Steve Adams on bass/vocals, Dave Mulligan on rhythm guitar/vocals, and drummer Mike Curry.

Nicki Bluhm is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and band leader from California. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, musician Tim Bluhm. She has performed with her band The Gramblers since 2008, with her husband as the duo Tim & Nicki Bluhm, and a country music cover band composed of her husband and members of ALO called Brokedown in Bakersfield. She has guest-performed with Chris Robinson, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, Grace Potter, The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams, and Galactic, among others. She also has guest-performed on album tracks for Karl Denson and The Brothers Comatose.[1]

Early career and The Gramblers[edit]

In 2007 Bluhm began recording songs with husband Tim Bluhm and gigging with guitarist Deren Ney, a childhood friend. Along with Tim and some friends including singer/songwriter Jackie Greene (Jackie Greene Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Black Crowes) and ALO's Steve Adams (bass) and The Mother Hips' John Hofer (drums), Bluhm made her debut album. When Toby's Song (Little Sur Records) was released in 2008 Bluhm assembled a touring band and dubbed it The Gramblers. That lineup's bassist, Billy Cramer, left the band and Adams stepped in. As the band performed more often their folk-rock styling developed into a more classic rock and old-school R&B sound bolstered by Bluhm's growing stage presence, Ney's eclectic guitar playing, and the group's complex vocal harmonies.

The following year Bluhm recorded a second album, Driftwood, using mostly the touring band of the Bluhms, Ney, Adams, and drummer Mike Curry. It also featured Greene, Adams' ALO bandmates Dave Brogan and Dan Lebowitz and Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone. Shortly before the album was released Arizona singer/songwriter Dave Mulligan was added on rhythm guitar and Tim switched to keys. This is the core lineup the band has today. [2]

As they gained recognition in 2012 Driftwood was re-released in stores nationwide that summer. They toured regularly and performed at the Bonnaroo Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and Warren Haynes' Mountain Jam. In June 2013 they were the subject of an Antherony Mason piece on CBS This Morning and performed live on the show.

Bluhm's third record (and first credited as "Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers") was released in August 2013 on Bluhm's own label Little Sur Records. It debuted in the Top Ten on Billboard's New Artist and Americana charts. To promote the album they made their late night talk show debut on Conan (talk show), performing "Little Too Late".

While Bluhm writes the bulk of the band's songs, husband Tim writes or co-writes many. "Little Too Late" is credited to him and the duet "Stick With Me" was co-written with Nicki. Ney wrote "I'm Your Woman", "Love in California", "Barbary Blues" and "Carousel". Mulligan wrote "Go Go Go" from Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers and "Santa Fe" is a live staple. In an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent, Bluhm said:

"There’s four songwriters in the band — me, Tim, lead guitarist Deren Ney, and rhythm guitarist Dave Mulligan. Basically we all write independently and then bring songs to the table and play ’em for each other. Typically we always like the songs that people bring in; I think there has yet to be a song that we didn’t like, which is really lucky. We all definitely have a common thread in our songwriting, but it’s all got some personality to it. I think it’s really cool to have multiple songwriters; it kind of diversifies the feel and the sound. So far it’s worked well for us." [3]


The band became more widely known after "Van Sessions" videos, where the band performs cover songs in a tour van while driving between gigs, became a surprise viral hit in March 2012. Their cover of the Hall & Oates song I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) - the 17th entry in the no-budget videos - was viewed over a million times the week of its release. It gained celebrity fans like Cameron Crowe, Ryan Adams, Melissa Etheridge and even John Oates and Daryl Hall themselves. The video's popularity gave the group national attention on MSN, CBS News This Morning and New York Magazine. Their "nbluhm" YouTube Channel, featuring the Van Sessions and officially-sanctioned live videos, has over 5 million views.[4]

Icons Redefined campaign[edit]

In 2012 Bluhm was featured in an international ad campaign for The Gap called "Icons Redefined", which featured "the icons of tomorrow", including The Avett Brothers and Kaki King.[5] These ads were featured on Gap billboards and in magazines worldwide. The band performed at the campaign launch event in New York.


Studio albums[edit]

Nicki Bluhm[edit]

  • Toby's Song (Little Knickers, 2008)
  • Driftwood (Little Sur Records, 2011)

Tim & Nicki Bluhm[edit]

  • Duets (Little Sur Records, 2011)

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers[edit]

  • Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers (Little Sur Records, 2013)


  1. ^ Tuckman, Andrew (3 September 2011). "Getting to know Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers". Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Spencer, Sheldon (July 11, 2012). "Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers deliver Under Pressure for ESPYS". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Comingore, Aly (April 2013). "Hitting the Road with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers". Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ Baca, Ricardo (2012-07-20). "You-Tube sensation Nicki Bluhm, from Hall & Oates covers to her own '70s inspirations". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Ann Oldenburg (August 7, 2012). "Exclusive: Gap showcases artists who 'Shine'". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]