Nicki Bluhm

Nicki Bluhm

Compass Records is excited to announce the release of renowned singer/ songwriter Nicki Bluhm's new album, TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL out June 1. To celebrate the announcement, Rolling Stonepremiered the tle track yesterday, hailing the song as "a blast of Memphis soul." TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL as recorded in Memphis at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording studio and features two co-writes with Ryan Adams and a Dan Penn cover. For these live band analog sessions, Bluhm brought in producer Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell), and the studio band included Will Sexton (guitar), Ross-Spang
(guitars), Ken Coomer (drums and percussion), Al Gamble(Hammond B3), Rick Steff (piano) and Dave Smith (bass), with Reba Russell and Susan
Marshall (background singers), Sam Shoup (string arrangements) and various special guests.
"It was the very first song we tracked," Bluhm told Rolling Stone, "and Ken just started playing the groove and the band slowly started to drift in. Ken is such a present musician, and he's listening to the words and reading the room and the vibe...There's a line in the song that says, 'I went looking for some perspective, so I knocked on my mama's door,' and he just hit the drum -- the rim -- like a knock, which brought a playfulness and lightness to the song. I love Will's guitar playing, too. It's so understated, but he makes himself known. It's like the old saying goes: 'The young bull charges down the hill, but the old bull takes his time.' These musicians were tasteful; they're all old bulls full of experience and class. Having a string section arranged by Sam Shoup was the icing on the cake. Memphis had melted into my California soul."
After six years with her band the Gramblers, and recent high-profile collaborations (Phil Lesh, Infamous Stringdusters, Ryan Adams), Bluhm wrote the life- chronicling songs for TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALLover a two-year period, during which she got divorced and moved to Nashville, TN. The album is a chronicle of her state of mind following these deep and fundamental life changes.
"These songs are quite personal," Bluhm says. "They are the conversations I never got to have, the words I never had the chance to say, and the catharsis I wouldn't have survived without."
Bluhm's divorce, along with the need to challenge herself, inspired the West Coast na ve to make her spur-of-the moment, cross-country move to Nashville in 2017.
"Nashville was inspiring because of all the songwriting going on here," Bluhm says. "When I would come to Nashville on writing trips it was just percolating... it was
intoxicating. So I very hastily, in a matter of days, decided to move. I just had this gut feeling."
Ross-Spang happened to be mixing a record in Nashville at the time and they met up and hit it off immediately.
"I really needed someone who was going to take the reins and have a vision for the album and he really did," Bluhm says of meeting Ross-Spang. "My ex-husband had been my musical director, co-writer, and producer on all my records except one and I was looking for someone to step into that leadership roll, which Matt did very gracefully. I was looking for a clean slate; the only baggage I wanted to bring into the studio were the words to the songs I was singing. I wanted it to be a fresh experience; I didn't want to even have history with anyone in the room that would pull me into old habits or ways of thinking. So we agreed we'd record in Memphis."
Once settled in Sam Phillips Recording, the sessions revolved around tracking live with an ace band assembled by Ross-Spang.
"We really just recorded live and we didn't do that many takes of each song," Bluhm says. "The final versions we ended up with were all one take. It was really refreshing to go analog. It minimized over thinking and second guessing, forced us all to stay in the moment and play from the heart. Sam Shoup did all the string arrangements and when he walked in the room I thought he was a housepainter; he was the most understated, unlikely suspect. That was the thing about Memphis that was cool... not a lot of egos, just people making music for music's sake. Throughout the session there was a lot of listening and trusting. Matt really spends me curating his sessions and who he decides to bring in; he knows how to keep the vibe right. What you are hearing is, as Jerry Phillips would say, 'not perfection but captured moments in time.'
"I had lost my partner in so many ways," Bluhm continues, "my musical partner, my life partner, my creative partner, and all of a sudden I was left on my own, to start my own engine. It was really intimidating and scary," she says "but I had support from my management, my agent, my friends and family, and ultimately I just had this guttural drive that I didn't even know I had in me. I was on autopilot, ready to move forward and take the steps I had to take to keep moving forward. When the album finally comes out it's going to be like setting a caged bird free."
Bluhm will be touring this year and beyond in support of TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL. The confirmed tour dates are below with more to be announced soon.

Defining The Hawthorne Roots can be challenging. Their original songs combine the soft passion in soul and folk with revved up beats from rock and blues. The Hawthorne Roots is lead by sisters Madeline and Emma Kelly. The band is defined by silvery vocals, tightly woven harmonies, and relentlessly catchy melodies.

There are no rules or limitations when it comes to choosing subjects for the original material. The Hawthorne Roots’ songs are about the triumphs and struggles that involve it all: from day-to-day life to grand adventures; true love and painful heartbreak. The lyrics find their way to each audience member creating connection and conveying empathy. The diverse collection of songs bridge the gap among music lovers of many different genres. 

The Hawthorne Roots’ story begins with Emma, born in 1986, and Madeline born in 1989.  They entered the 90’s and early 2000’s as young girls living on the East Coast. Their musical lives began at birth with both mother and father heavily involved in the classical music community in Boston. The two sisters explored different musical genres growing up. Madeline began writing songs at the age of 16 leaning on inspiration from folk artists like Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Neil Young. The two sisters forged separate paths for many years, Madeline moving to Bozeman, Montana in 2008. Emma made her way west in 2013. It was not until 2014 they decided to team up for Madeline’s first recording session with Preston White of Boxwood Studios. 

From there, the two sisters continued to sing together and paired up with Bozeman bassist Casey George and Bozeman drummer Michael DeJaynes to form The Hawthorne Roots. In 2015 the Kelly sisters teamed up for the first time and wrote the song “Keena” together.

Since then, the band has been joined by numerous Bozeman musicians including Mike Koziel for their 3 track EP recorded at Low Country Studios, Alex Koukov and Bridger Dunnegan from Hollowtops, Haley Ford from The Vibe Quartet, Hemingway and the Organix, and John Shirrell from Doctors of Geography. John Sherrill officially joined The Hawthorne Roots in July of 2015. Casey George left in September of 2015 and Haley Ford took his place, forever changing the female to male ratio and of course - the bass lines.

Today The Hawthorne Roots bring a soulful and energetic performance to the stage, every lyric sung with true passion and genuine elegance. The new repertoire explores different emotions and pushes the boundaries of what is known as The Americana genre of music. They do not write by the rules. The music of The Hawthorne Roots comes from nowhere else, but the heart. Stay tuned as this fresh Montana band continues to spread roots. 

$17.00

Tickets

Upcoming Events
Top Hat Lounge