Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers

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Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers
OriginSan Francisco, California
GenresRock, soul, Alt-Country, Folk
Years active8
LabelsLittle Sur Records
Associated actsInfamous Stringdusters
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Gov't Mule
WebsiteNicki Bluhm
MembersNicki Bluhm
Deren Ney on lead guitar/vocals
Steve Adams on bass/vocals
Dave Mulligan on rhythm guitar/vocals
Mike Curry, drummer
Past membersBill Cramer, Tim Bluhm

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers were an American band, formed in 2008 in San Francisco. Band members included Nicki Bluhm, Steve Adams and formerly Tim Bluhm. The band has released four albums: Toby's Song, Driftwood, Self-Titled, and Loved Wild Lost, and their "Van Sessions" videos have been popular on YouTube. Most of their songs are written by Nicki Bluhm and other members.

Toby's Song; formation of The Gramblers[edit]

Nicki Bluhm has said she sang as a teenager in the Bay Area and took up guitar in college in San Diego. She met Tim Bluhm, singer of Bay Area cult favorite The Mother Hips, who offered to produce tracks for her in his home studio. She performed shows with guitarist Deren Ney (a friend from high school) as she worked on the album. The record, "Toby's Song" (Little Knickers, 2008), featured Ney, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene (Jackie Greene Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Black Crowes), ALO's Steve Adams (bass) and The Mother Hips' John Hofer (drums). When Toby's Song was released Bluhm started using the name "Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers".[1]

In an interview with The 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."[2]


Bluhm's second album, Driftwood, was the first to be recorded mostly with the live lineup of the Bluhms, Ney, Adams, and drummer Mike Curry (Jackpot, Jackie Greene). Greene was back on keys along with Adams' ALO bandmates Dave Brogan and Dan Lebowitz and Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone contributing to several tracks. Shortly before the album was released singer/songwriter Dave Mulligan joined the band on rhythm guitar/vocals.[3]

YouTube success[edit]

The band became widely known after their "Van Sessions" videos, where the band performs cover songs in a van while driving between gigs, became a viral hit in March 2012. Their cover of the Hall & Oates song "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" was viewed over a million times a week after it was posted. It gained the band noteworthy fans such as Cameron Crowe, Ryan Adams, Melissa Etheridge, John Oates and Daryl Hall. The video's popularity brought the group media attention. MSN, CBS News This Morning and New York Magazine all did features on the band. Their "nbluhm" YouTube channel as of this writing has nearly 10 million views.[4] Bluhm subsequently guest performed with John Oates several times.


In June 2013 the band was the subject of an Anthony Mason piece on CBS This Morning in anticipation of their first album credited as Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers that August. The self-titled album debuted in the Top Ten on Billboard's New Artist and Americana charts. The band made their late night talk show debut that fall on Conan performing "Little Too Late (To Die Young)". The album tour culminated with a sellout show at The Fillmore. They also performed at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival performing "Lido Shuffle" with Boz Scaggs during their set.

Loved Wild Lost[edit]

For their fourth record, Loved Wild Lost, they used outside producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine, Counting Crows) and recorded at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, CA. Loved Wild Lost was released in 2015 and was debuted by the New York Times. They released a first music video for the single "Waiting On Love" with starred Jason Ritter (Girls, Gravity Falls) and Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness, Two and a Half Men) as reckless lovers tearing their world apart.[5]

Lineup change and new album[edit]

In the summer of 2015 the band split from Tim Bluhm. A public statement was released stating that Nicki and Tim would be "separating musically and personally". The band continued touring as a 5-piece, including a long tour in Europe, before taking a hiatus from touring to work on a new album.[5]


  1. ^ Fancher, Lou (June 7, 2012). "HomeSilicon Valley news, sports, businessStory 'Van Sessions' helping Lafayette's Nicki Bluhm get places". Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Comingore, Aly (April 2013). "Hitting the Road with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers". Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Dobbs, Dan (July 11, 2012). "Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers deliver Under Pressure for ESPYS". Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  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. ^ a b Derrough, Leslie Michele (April 27, 2015). "Nicki Bluhm Hearkens Another Era". Glide magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2014.

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