Calling Tennessee home for 6 years now, Nicki Bluhm possesses a modern, clear-eyed perspective that grabs the heart and keeps you holding on to every word.
Bluhm’s music career began in the Cow Hollow area of San Francisco in 2008, where she recorded two solo albums and co-founded Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers. The band went on to record two more albums and toured extensively while posting their “Van Sessions”, covers nostalgic to their childhoods, including their viral YouTube hit, the Hall and Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That.”
In 2017, Bluhm made the decision to leave California to forge a career as a solo artist in Nashville. She recorded her album, To Rise You Gotta Fall (2018), produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Calexico) in the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Services in Memphis. The album exhibited a natural blending of Tennessee sound and Bluhm’s West Coast roots and delved the depths of hard goodbyes and hopeful beginnings.
Her following album, Avondale Drive (2022) explored what it means to be fully yourself, rather than a vessel for the expectations of others. Recorded in East Nashville with producer Jesse Noah Wilson, and featuring Oliver Wood, Erin Rae, A.J. Croce, Jay Bellerose, and others, Avondale Drive combines nostalgic country-rock with distinctly modern, sharp lyricism—an apt contrast for the process of studying one’s past in order to make a better future.
In tandem with recording Avondale Drive back in the doldrums of 2020, Nicki Bluhm and producer Jesse Noah Wilson took advantage of their excessive time off and took a stab at recording songs in the early musical catalog of Cher.
“Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from baring your soul and sing someone else’s songs. Selecting those songs, the right ones, can sometimes be as hard as writing one. Interpreting someone else’s words is another nuanced layer to making a cover song resonate as your own.”
Predating 1973, Bluhm and Wilson selected some of their favorites; songs penned by Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood and of course Sonny Bono. They enlisted old friends and new to play and help sing the duets like fellow Grambler Steve Adams, Sam Blasucci of Los Angeles’s Mapache and Nashville neighbor Butch Walker. “I’ve always been one of many admirers of Cher; her sense of fashion and boldness, the many roles she played and won me over with, her deep and sultry voice and most importantly her endless joie de vivre. We had so much fun with these songs, looking back into a history that seemed more romantic and carefree. It was a refreshing way to honor a living legend and some of those who helped her shine along the way.”
As an homage, the 8 digitally released singles will make up ‘The Beat Goes On, Nicki Bluhm Sings Cher’. The first single will release June 9, 2023 with a new release every month finalizing in December. Nicki and her band aspire to play a live set in their home of Nashville, TN and beyond Fall 2023.
“She is singing like a stronger spirit has found her. There is no doubt Nicki Bluhm is on the way to a wonderful place in her life and her music.” — BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND (AMERICANA HIGHWAYS)
“Bluhm’s prime gift is her incredible voice…An artist equally adept at imparting soothing soulful ballads as she is cutting loose on well-crafted up-tempo tunes.” – LONESOME HIGHWAY
“Bluhm is a cashmere chameleon of song, moving smoothly and effortlessly from genre to genre. But no matter the genre, there is always a poignant undertone of soul in her delivery.” – TURNSTYLED JUNKPILED