Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
Brothers Comatose, Moon Police
33157 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA, 927675
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
All ticket purchasers will receive a digital download of the new Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers album!
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, hailing from San Francisco, will be celebrating their forthcoming album release with a California tour in August. The new album will be released Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 on Little Sur and will be the debut under Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers. The album will serve as the follow up to Nicki Bluhm's Driftwood and include the current single and live favorite "Little Too Late."
Upon hearing the unique and refreshing sound of Nicki Bluhm, it becomes immediately clear why she is in the midst of a breakout year. Nicki has filled a void in music with her brand of vintage-tinged rocking country soul -- music that's like an enchanting friend you've known for a short while but feels like you've known forever.
In 2011 alone, Nicki has moved with grace and style from the studio to the main stages of the nation's most revered music festivals (Outside Lands, High Sierra, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass), where her strong voice, striking presence and penchant for songcraft have made an undeniable impression and received rousing reception from audiences of all ages.
Nicki's story began at a New Year's Eve party where she sang an Allman Brothers song, catching the attention of musician/producer Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips). With Tim's encouragement, Nicki began to write her own songs and perform in public. The two fell in love and married, followed by the recording of Nicki's debut album, Toby's Song (2008), which was heralded as one of Jambase's top ten albums of the year.
Nicki's music took on a life of its own with the formation of a band with childhood friend and lead guitarist Deren Ney. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers grew with the addition of drummer Mike Curry (Jackpot), bassist/vocalist Steve Adams (ALO), and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dave Mulligan. The band headed into the studio and emerged with Nicki's sophomore album, Driftwood (2011), a collection of songs that evoke the AM magic of Linda Ronstadt, the honest charm of Johnny and June Cash's duets, and the stoney sounds of retro Memphis soul. "Part Karen Carpenter and part Grace Slick, Bluhm's voice moves effortlessly between softer, country tinged balladry and retro '60s/'70s rock," No Depression declared.
Since Driftwood's release, Nicki has performed with her band, as a duo with her husband, as a vocalist for West Coast supergroup Brokedown in Bakersfield, and as the special guest of countless musical legends. She has been called on to share the stage with Chris Robinson, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Steve Kimock, Jackie Greene, Pegi Young and Josh Ritter; and has performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Nicki is currently touring and has a new album with Tim called Duets.
There's no question that Nicki Bluhm is the "It Girl" of San Francisco's storied music scene. Luckily for us, the future is looking even brighter for rock's rising star.
“The good thing about a string band, is that things tend to culminate with dancing rather than
elbows flying in a mosh-pit,” says Gio Benedetti of the Brothers Comatose. The original
members of the quintet with brothers Alex and Ben Morrison, bonded at the Morrison family
acoustic music parties before taking a youthful foray into punk and rock bands *and
ultimately* before circling back to the music they learned in that living room. They credit both
beginnings for the attitude of their current music. and As a testament to their skillful
energy; they have already played the major festivals including the esteemed Hardly Strictly
Bluegrass Festival, The Strawberry Festival and High Sierra.
On the new album, Respect The Van out May 22, their music is not a wavering mélange
of assorted styles, but decided and strong bluegrass-influenced folk rock. With the addition of
members Philip Brezina (fiddle) and Ryan Avellone (mandolin) the band aims “to offer a damn
good time, with a no-bullshit style that we found in those original living room parties and our
live shows,” says Ben. “We tracked everything for the album live in one big room – treating
the studio like a stage,” he explains.
As for the name, only a brother could pick it out by observing his sibling. Guitarist *and
vocalist* Ben said when brother Alex Morrison *(banjo and vocals) * goes into a trance-like
state while playing his banjo, “his eyes roll back in his head like he’s in a coma.” It’s certainly
not indicative of their music, which doesn’t have any of the indulgent noodling breaks
characterized by other string based bands – though the musicianship is solidly there, it’s given
with a communal and inclusive spirit to sing and dance along to. Now, at live shows, the San
Francisco band is known for handing out chopsticks to the audience for participatory
percussion on whatever surface is closest.
And while the music is strong and clear, there are some serious themes as in the lead track
“Modern Day Sinners,” a Guthrie inspired populist sing-along with shades of 50's R&B and
doo-wop in the harmonies and feel. “I wanted to call ‘bullshit’ of the type of politician or fat
radio host that’s giving advice while living a terrible and shameful life,” says *bassist and*
vocalist and banjoist Gio.
“Scout” was written by Ben as part of “The 52 week club,” a songwriting group that sends out
theme a week as a writing prompt. “It my first contribution. I wrote it from an
autobiographical perspective of a young boy scout hanging out with his grandpa,” shares Ben.
“My grandpa was a nice man some of the time, but could also just be bitter and I always
wondered what he was so angry about. This song is about the young scout hanging onto his
youth and and hoping to keep that spirit at the end.”
120 East” is a harmonic ode to the brotherhood of a band, written about The Brothers
Comatose's journey to and from The Strawberry Music Festival. “I wanted to capture the sense
of being with your best friends, of being willing to trust them and follow them anywhere,” says
The band wrote a raucous, fiddle tune ode to their 1988 Chevy G20 tour van and called it,
fittingly, “The Van Song.” “Phil wrote all the instrumental melodies and it didn't have any
official lyrics for a long time,” says Gio. “It saw two rowdy live performances where we all just
made up verses on the spot. We finally wrote some real lyrics, and had to record it - we love
our van in a way that is border-line obsessive.”
“Morning Time” is Ben’s folk-country duet with breakout artist Nicki Bluhm. “It tells of the ever
present struggles between man and woman – the guy wants to maintain his life in the big city
with all of its late nights, bustle and craziness and the woman is ready for a mellower life. It’s
a compromise and ultimately setting aside some quality time in the morning to spend
together,” shares Ben
“Feels Like The Devil” is a drop-tuned, resonator-driven shit-kicker that would be at home on
any bluegrass stage, while “Pennies are Money Too” is an old-timey instrumental that well
illustrates the band’s musicianship.
Despite their name, the band is anything but Comatose. “It's just one, big, extended Morrison
music party,” they say. The Brothers Comatose will be playing all spring and summer including
April dates in Boise, Portland, Eugene, Washington State, North Carolina and all thru
California, including appearances at the Banjo-B-Cue festival, and the Kate Wolf Festival. More
dates and new videos will be announced soon.
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