Tag Archives: Nicki Bluhm
Tags: Andy Falco, Andy Hall, Bowery Ballroom, Chris Pandolfi, Infamous Stringdusters, Jeremy Garrett, Ladies & Gentlemen, Ladies & Gentlemen Tour, Live Music, Lower East Side, Marc Millman, Music, New York City, Nicki Bluhm, Photos, Travis Book
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The Infamous Stringdusters, those noted purveyors of groove-friendly bluegrass, formed in 2006. According to PopMatters, they “take traditional bluegrass and old-timey music and use it as a launching pad to explore other, more improvisational, free-flowing forms.” And while the band’s lineup hasn’t been exactly free flowing, there have been a few personnel changes over the ensuing years: Guitarist Andy Falco joined when Chris Eldridge departed to join Punch Brothers, and several years later, the man on the mandolin, Jesse Cobb, left the band. But Travis Book (upright bass), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro) and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) have all been around since the start. Their newest studio album, Ladies & Gentlemen (stream it below), arrived last month, and it finds the five-piece backing a variety of women singers. “The concept of male artists or bands who record albums with a variety of female singers isn’t new or unique,” opined American Songwriter. “But that doesn’t mean it’s played out or hackneyed either, especially when it’s delivered with as much class, restraint and enthusiasm as it is here…. The end product feels natural, unforced and even at times humble, making this appropriately titled sixth Stringdusters album yet another successful effort that moves the act beyond its string roots while keeping their collective feet planted in them.” One of the LP’s guests, acclaimed singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm, joins the Stringdusters (above, performing “Still the One” live at Jam in the Van’s Los Angeles headquarters) on tour, and they come to New York City for a pair of dates, tonight and tomorrow at The Bowery Ballroom.
Tags: Andy Falco, Andy Hall, Bowery Ballroom, Chris Pandolfi, Della Mae, Infamous Stringdusters, Jeremy Garrett, Ladies & Gentlemen, Ladies & Gentlemen Tour, Live Music, Lower East Side, Music, New York City, Nicki Bluhm, Paper Bird, Preview, Travis Book, Video
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The soul-funk trio Soulive—Alan Evans (drums), Neal Evans (Hammond B3) and Eric Krasno (guitar)—formed in the late ’90s and have been bringing their own bluesy, jammy brand of jazz, funk, classic rock and R&B to the dancing masses ever since. Krasno joined the brothers Evans for a recording session in Woodstock in 1999, which eventually became their first EP, Get Down! A host of studio albums, EPs and live discs followed, including 2010’s instrumental take on the Beatles, Rubber Soulive. But despite the trio’s recorded virtuosity, far and away the best way to experience these guys is live. Which works out great because with Bowlive 5 beginning tomorrow, you’ve got eight chances to see them in person. That’s right: Soulive (above, covering “Soul Serenade” with guests) play Brooklyn Bowl eight times between tomorrow and 3/22.
And as always, there will be special guests galore, like Nigel Hall, DJ Logic and the Shady Horns tomorrow, George Porter Jr., Nicki Bluhm, Leroy Justice and the Shady Horns on Friday, the London Souls, George Porter Jr., Nicki Bluhm and the Shady Horns on Saturday, John Scofield, Jon Cleary and the Shady Horns on 3/18, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo, Jon Cleary and the Shady Horns on 3/19, DMC (of Run DMC), Talib Kweli, Alan Evans Trio and the Shady Horns on 3/20, Marco Benevento, Roosevelt Collier, Sonya Kitchell and the Shady Horns on 3/21, and finally Bill Evans, Wolf! featuring Scott Metzger and the Shady Horns on 3/22.
Tags: Alan Evans, Alan Evans Trio, Bill Evans, Bowlive, Brooklyn Bowl, DJ Logic, DMC, Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., Get Down!, Joe Russo, John Scofield, Jon Cleary, Leroy Justice, London Souls, Marco Benevento, Neal Evans, Nicki Bluhm, Nigel Hall, Preview, Roosevelt Collier, Rubber Soulive, Run DMC, Scott Metzger, Shady Horns, Sonya Kitchell, Soulive, Susan Tedeschi, Talib Kweli, Video, Wolf!
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Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers – The Bowery Ballroom – March 27, 2013
I spent a little too much time last night trying to figure out exactly what a Grambler is. That’s the name of Nicki Bluhm’s backing band, in town for a boisterous set of soulful honky-tonk last night at The Bowery Ballroom. With their “YouTube sensation” label and their standard rock-band setup—bass, drums, guitar, Rhodes, female lead singer—the name “Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers” felt like it could have been auto-generated.
Perhaps a Grambler is someone who tells a rambling story, but with guitars, as the band did throughout with country-rock songs like “Go Go Go” beefed up with twang-y guitar and Bluhm nicely channeling Dolly Parton. Maybe it’s someone who likes to take risks while crisscrossing the country (gambling while rambling). Or perhaps it’s a husband–and-wife team displaying their emotions bare onstage with powerful duets like Nicki and Tim Bluhm did with “Stick with Me” and “Till I’m Blue.” Or maybe a Grambler is someone carrying on the tradition of Gram Parsons, like when the band brought up pedal-steel player Jon Graboff, who added some much-needed oomph to the early part of the set.
The highlight of the night for me was when the Bluhms sang a lovely duet on Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song,” with Graboff’s beautiful steel playing accentuating perfectly, capped by a stolen smooch. Things picked up steam from there, the band grambling their way through a high-energy “Jetplane” with multiple slide- and pedal-steel guitar solos and the makings of a full-band jam. The set had a nice balance of covers and originals, older songs and songs yet to be released. The climax of the night was the new “Little Too Late,” a single-ready gem of a song that encapsulates Bluhm’s sound. And in case I still wasn’t clear just what a Grambler is, the encore laid it out: a gorgeous gospel number, “In the Mountains,” sung in three-part harmony around a single microphone followed by the angry-heartbreak rocker “Kill You to Call.” Whatever the definition, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers are the real deal. —A. Stein