Nicki Bluhm

Nicki Bluhm at Alex's

Nicki Bluhm has taken everyone, including herself, by surprise. Her story begins at a New Year's Eve party, where she sang an impromptu blues song that caught the attention of musician and producer Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips/Rhythm Devils). With his encouragement, the singer began to write songs, perform live and garner a fan base.

A debut album, "Toby's Song," was recorded in 2008 and appeared on JamBase's top 10 albums of the year. The Bluhms married shortly afterward and formed a band, the Gramblers, with Nicki Bluhm's childhood friend, Deren Ney. The band continued to grow with the addition of bassist Steve Adams (ALO) and drummer Mike Curry. Bluhm has since shared the stage with Josh Ritter, Jackie Greene, Phil Lesh, Pegi and Neil Young, Butch Walker and Leon Russell.

Bluhm's second album, "Driftwood," is an impressive progression of the artist's natural talent. Her songs range through the pop-radio sounds of Linda Ronstadt, country duets of Johnny Cash and June Carter and the stoney soul of Memphis.

The San Francisco duo was joined by Greene, Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), Dave Ralick (Dengue Fever) and members of ALO and The Mother Hips to record the 11 tracks on the new album produced in their studio, Mission Bells.

The record is one that will elevate Bluhm's status and stand the test of time, according to the artist's press.

Bluhm and the Gramblers will perform at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 35 N. Main St., Ashland. Cover for the show is $5. Call 541-482-8818.

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