Favorite

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers: Driftwood (Little Sur) 

Soul, country and classic hippie-rock all mix together in this immediately likable album from San Francisco's Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers.

click to enlarge cd1.jpg

Bluhm's vocals shine—a honeyed blend of Linda Ronstadt, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt—while the band expertly navigates its way around laid-back oldies, groovy jams, barroom rave-ups and even hootenannies. Driftwood might be a history lesson in other hands, but it's fresh and filled with good vibes here.

To start with, the Gramblers—guitarists Deren Ney and Dave Mulligan, drummer Mike Curry, bassist Steve Adams, and Bluhm's multi-instrumentalist husband, Tim (of the Mother Hips)—are a crack band that know how to give roots music a modern touch.

"Carousel" starts things off with a comfortably swaying tempo, and with acoustic guitars framing Bluhm's nostalgic tribute to vinyl records. The band gives Doug Sahm's "I Wanna Be Your Mama Again" a glorious country-blues big-band treatment.

"Kill You to Call" is pure blue-eyed country soul, with Bluhm wringing all she can from the heartsick lyrics, sickly sweet lead guitar lines and softly whistling organ fills. Then it's all topped off with a swell of horns.

Driftwood—originally a 2011 self-release that was reissued in July—has plenty of California sunshine, but Bluhm and company know their way around some minor-key yearning as well.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Man Behind the Designs

    As the go-to artist for Tucson’s hip hop scene, Marcoso has it covered
    • Feb 22, 2018
  • Wild & Reckless

    Stomping across no man’s land with Blitzen Trapper
    • Feb 15, 2018
  • Eye of the Storm

    Josh Ritter cuts loose on new record Gathering
    • Jan 11, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Two Dozen Ways To Have Fun This Weekend!

The Weekly List: 25 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Comedy, Beer, Theater & More: Eight Things To Do Today!

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five Six! This Week: Sweethearts of the Rodeo
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • Spin City

    Baby Gas Mask Records opens new retail and recording space near downtown
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation