eNTRaDaS PaRa La HiSTeRia

jueves, 14 de enero de 2016

Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers - Loved Wild Lost (2015). Entrevista a Nicki Bluhm

Gira Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers en enero. Vuelve la nueva musa del folk-rock californiano

Con ‘Loved Wild Lost’, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers se establecen firmemente en la larga estela de continuadores del sonido de California, nacido del folk, el rock, el country, la psicodelia, el blues, el pop, aventurero, imperecedero y adaptado a los tiempos. El disco significa su primera colaboración con un elemento “externo”, como es el productor Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, Josh Ritter). 

El resultado es una gran colección de canciones, con ricas pinceladas de sonido que se nutren de la reconocible voz de Nicki y sus resonantes regalos líricos, dotadas de un nuevo color por parte de la Magik*Magik Orchestra de San Francisco (Death Cab for Cutie, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Walkmen), cuyos múltiples arreglos amplifican el cautivador sonido de la banda.

Loved Wild Lost (2015

Tres años de nuevas experiencias y de carretera sin descanso han hecho crecer poderosamente y mostrar una gran reflexión personal al sonido de los Gramblers. Los orígenes del grupo se remontan a 2008, cuando Nicki comenzó a tocar para presentar sus trabajos en solitario. La formación pronto se solidificó con el amigo de la infancia de Nicki, el guitarrista y compositor Deren Ney, el bajista Steve Adams, el guitarrista Dave Mulligan, el batería Mike Curry y el propio Tim Bluhm cuando la agenda lo permite.

Durante su gira de 2012, la banda decidió combatir el tedio de los viajes de gira en su furgoneta grabando con un iPhone videos que les mostraban tocando espontáneas versiones que pronto se hicieron virales, pasando a conformar sus ya famosas “Van Sessions”, que les han hecho famosos en la red y fuera de ella.

Pronto quedó claro que Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers era algo más que el talento vocal de Nicki  respaldado por un grupo de apoyo; eran una banda con todas las letras. Así, el que inicialmente iba a ser el tercer disco en solitario de Nicki, acabo por ser el debut de The Gramblers propiamente dicho.  Un disco que American Songwriter definió como “una gema meloódica que combina las vibraciones rústicas de The Band con la pulcritud de la era de Linsay Buckingham y Stevie Nicks al frente de Fleetwood Mac”.

“En aquel disco había un poco de soul, un poco de country, un poco de rock” afirma Nicki “En este nuevo álbum hemos tratado de sonar mucho más cohesionados”

‘Loved Wild Lost’ sera presentado en el primer tour europeo de Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers en 2016 tras la visita de Nicki en 2013 como trio acústico, que pasará por Madrid (21 de enero, sala El Sol, en una de las Huercasa Nights de presentación del Huercasa Country Festival 2016) y Barcelona (22 de enero, Razzmatazz3).


In this latest album, Loved Wild Lost (2015) you surprise us with a different Folk Rock style, mixed with sounds like Blues, Folk, Country and a little of Pop. A fantastic mix of styles that results in the exquisite sound of your music. What can you tell us about that? It seems Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblersis inspired by the sounds of the old times in their themes, what can you tell us about it?
I was a kid in the 80's so a lot of my first musical experience came straight from the radio driving around in my mom's car: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houstin.  In contrast, my older brother was really into The Grateful Dead, Led Zepplin and Bob Marley. I started collecting vinyl in college and that's when I started picking up a lot of music from the 60's snd 70's LA scene; Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, CSN&Y. When I met my husband, he introduced me to so much great old country music; Merel Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette. So yes...lots of different influences. What was important in the making of this album though was having a modern, unique style and sound while giving a nod graciously to the music of the past we all love so much.

Why have you titled Loved Wild Lost to your last album? What inspires you when to make your songs?
The title comes from the song on the album 'Love Your Loved Ones'. I like how the words play off each other. They stand alone in their meaning yet can be so intimately related to each other. You can feel them all at the same time. Being human is complex, we often have contrasting emotions simultaneously. It can be confusing but also quite beautiful if you allow it.
I'm inspired by all kinds of different thing at different times. Sometimes it's suffering, sometimes it's beauty, nature or a memory.

What will see and enjoy in your live concerts for next “Loved Wild Lost tour” around Spain?
We will be doing a lot of songs off the new album as well as songs from previous records. I'm very excited to have the full band with me this time around. We have lots of 3 part harmony singing and expressive guitar playing. We will weave a show together that will make you dance, hopefully smile, sing along and just maybe make you cry. 

Do you have any surprise or any plans alternative to this new year 2016? Can you anticipate anything to us?
Following our European tour I will be going out on the road with an American band called The Infamous Stringdusters. They are releasing an album called 'Ladies and Gentlemen' and all the songs on it are sung by women so they are bringing me along to showcase some of those tunes. They are all exquisite players and masters of their craft so I am really looking forward to it. The Gramblers will be hooking up with us to play some shows as well which will be a blast. We all love playing music together and it's usually a big party.

This year marks 8 years since Nicki Bluhm began as a professional musician (recording “Toby's Song”).What is the difference between the music of Nicki Bluhm today and your music 8 years ago?
It's been an evolution and I expect it always will be. I'm hoping that as I get older and more experienced at life and in writing, I am able to write in a more refined way. If I can successfully translate big emotions and concepts into a song that brings me relief or brings comfort to someone listening, I am humbled and grateful.

Do you think the digital world will end with music as we know it today? What do you think is the future of music?
I've been slow to jump into the digital world of music. I still buy vinyl and prefer to listen to music that way. There is a quality to that that is irreplaceable. There are times of course when pulling a song up on your phone is incredibly convenient and it's nice to be able to preview something before buying an album. Streaming music is great for the listener, but it's hard for musicians to make a living from it which is unfortunate. I love when people buy vinyl at my shows. I definitely think there is a resurgence in the popularity of vinyl and that is exciting to me. I bought my 8 year old nephew a Crossley turn table for his birthday and watching his face as he dropped the needle on The Beattles 'Revolver' was priceless. Music played in that way is magic and it's important to pass those magical moments on.

What is your best memory about music?
Sitting on my dad's lap in our big Chevy truck riding into the California Sierra Mountain Range listening to Elton John. 'Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues' is still one of my very favorite songs and always will be because of the memories it conjures up. Music can be such a powerful memory bank.

Waiting on Love (2015)


Could you tell us about...

... A book?:
I'm reading 'The Gold Finch' by Donna Tartt right now and it is really intriguing. Tough to put down. It's incredible to me how well a woman can write from the perspective of a man throughout his life.

... A movie?:
There are so many movies I love and when I love a movie, I'll watch it over and over again. I appreciate the work of Woody Allen very much. Films like Manhattan and Hannah and her Sisters capture the essence of human nature in such a real and raw way. It's comforting to know that someone cares enough to show those intricacies, even if they seem mundane.

... A song?:
One of my favorite songs is 'It Makes no Difference' by The Band. I've loved it for so long and it keeps coming back into my life to comfort me at different times. Songs like that are like old friends; they're always there for you and they always will be.

... An album?:
Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell. I think it's perfect. I love how free she is and to speak her truth, talk about her insecurities and her strengths. She is one of my favorite writers of all time.

... A group or soloist?:
As much as I love music made in earlier time periods, there are so many wonderful artists making music today. Natalie Prass put out a lovely album earlier this year and I am excited to see what she will do next in her career. Rayland Baxter is another American artist who put out a beautiful record this year. Both very unique and effective songwriters.

... A hobby?
Anything outside. I love to hike, ride horses, sit by rivers and camp. Nature is so very healing for me.

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