Nicki Bluhm, Sierra Nevada Big Room, March 4th

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, the Big Room at Sierra Nevada has amazing acoustics, and they were showcased beautifully on Tuesday, March 4 for Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. Chico seems to be a favorite spot for Nicki Bluhm to play, as they generally make sure that their tours include a stop to our little Northern California town. It was easy to see why at this show, with a sold out crowd that seemed to consist of equal parts young earth-cookie types, “cool” moms and dads, and a liberal sprinkling of Wildcat bro types.

Nicki Bluhm got her musical start in ‘07 at the urging of husband and band member Tim Bluhm (of The Mother Hips). Their onstage presence and interaction between each other is downright adorable. It was bordering on sickening, but then Tim Bluhm’s powder blue flared pants brought things back to Earth. The highlight of the night came when they covered Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.”

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers are definitely worth going out of your way for. Bluhm’s voice is a perfect mix of breathy and smooth, reminiscent of Etta James or Janis Joplin. Her live show is both energetic and intimate, and the onstage interaction between her and the other band members is really entertaining.

This 70’s inspired rock band brings to mind warm summer nights skinny dipping with friends and sunny days riding lazily around on a bike. Her personal style helps the overall retro feel as well. Tuesday she was wearing a belted floral romper, and looked incredible. She also has the longest legs in the world, which I know is a totally weird thing to comment on. The bottom line is, if you get the opportunity to see Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, do it!

Written by Henry Huggins

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