Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
June 4, 2012
Toby’s Song, Keep it Loose, Before You Loved Me, Wanna Be Your Mama,
I’m Your Woman > Pack Up Your Sorrows > Beer and Booze,
Little Too Late, Barbary Blues,
You’re No Good, Big Road, GoGoGo, Sana Fe Runaway, Burnt, Jetplane
Encore: Kill You To Call
Another great set from Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, and her husband Tim Bluhm was back in the Gramblers fold after some shows with his main band, The Mother Hips; Tim mostly on the keyboards, and playing 12 string guitar on a couple of songs too. It was good to see Tim and Nicki doing their thing, after seeing them do so many shows with Phil Lesh over the last couple months at Terrapin Crossroads.
Nicki’s show started with good energy, and slowly built into an intense rocker. By the middle of the set, people were on their feet and dancing, filling in the dance pit with groovin’ movement.
The band delivered dancable vibes and good feeling tunes, tight and solid. Funked up bass lines delivered by Mike Pascale, who thumps the bottom lines when Steve Adams (ALO) is not available to keep rhythm with drummer Mike Curry. Deren Ney was smooth and sweet with his beautiful electric lead guitar work. Guitarist Dave Muligan sang and played with great cheer. And of course, Nicki Bluhm shined, with her dynamic vocals, and super friendly stage presence, talking to us as friends.
Ok, maybe it was because there are so many friends in the audience; even Nicki’s parents were there! And, thanks to their wonderfully intimate Van Sessions video series, we all feel like we’ve gone down the road with them feelin’ good. Whatever it is, the warm energy Nicki and her band exudes, mixed with great songs and super cool playing, makes you feel welcome and apprecieted by the band. They love to play, and they love having you there to hear them play. And everyone is smiling, and having fun.
Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewery is just that, a brewery where people go to work making beer. They have a bar with performance spaces open to the public (Lagunitas TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary) . You can try all their fine brews, and mingle with some super friendly Petaluma locals. They have built a very small and intimate amphitheater right there - it holds around 300 people. A small grass hill, a flat front dance area/pit, and a decent size stage (a larger band could still play there). Nice sound, great vibes, and of course, excellent beers for about $5 each. Food too, though we’ll have to try that next time. Check their site www.lagunitas.com for upcoming shows, including Emmylou Harris.
The show was opened by Arann Harris and The Farm Band, country funk without a drum, these Petaluma locals were were more fun than milking a stranger… and they encouraged us to do that!
Tonight, June 5th, they begin a weekly residency at Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, and another of our local favorites, Mark Karan is going to be dropping in for a few songs. Mark recently played with Tim and Nicki at several Rambles with Phil Lesh and Friends at Terrapin Corssroads, and of course, is the lead guitar player from RatDog and The Other Ones. Nicki will continue at Rickshaw with shows on June 12th and 19th as well.
Until the next time… Gramble on!