Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers Van Rolls into Boulder
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers played at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Friday night, the night after opening for Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers at the Denver Botanical Gardens. The band has been steadily on the rise in 2012, fueled by their Internet sensation YouTube videos called the â€œVan Sessionsâ€ which has the band performing cover songs as they drive in their tour van, with a camera on the dashboard. The band also continues to develop a strong following based on their own material, which was on display throughout the show including many songs from their most recent studio album â€œDriftwood.â€
This all ages show also featured 3 opening acts, including Finders and Youngberg from Fort Collins, who started the night with a strong bluegrass set. The second act was the Tumbleweed Wanderers from Oakland, CA, who seemed to attract the â€œall agesâ€ portion of the crowd, seemingly already familiar with the bandâ€™s music. This band clearly was aiming for a retro 70â€™s feel in sound and appearance, and impressed with some nice 3-part harmony vocals reminiscent of Crosby Stills and Nash. Before the main act, a short solo acoustic set was played by late addition Jon Russell of the band the Head and the Heart.
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers took the stage around 11:30, with the band laying the foundation for the first song before Nicki took the stage. Bluhm has a confident yet calming stage presence and a smooth as silk singing voice with just a touch of grit. Her backing band, including Bluhmâ€™s husband Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips, clearly showed the tightness of being on the road for an extended period. The songs felt familiar yet fresh. Itâ€™s clear that this band has a lot more to offer with their own material, as a strong up and coming act, other than just the Van Sessions.
Here are some photos from the entire evening.