Who are you and where are you from?
I am a California singer/songwriter in my band Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers. I live in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
When you say home, I’m assuming you mean the United States. There are so many but a few of my all-time favourites are Joni Mitchell, JJ Cale, and Linda Ronstadt.
What’s it really like touring?
I love touring but it’s certainly not as glamorous as everyone imagines it to be. We’ve started touring in a bus here in the states and that makes it a whole lot better because you have time to enjoy the cities you’re in instead of just seeing the venue you play and the Holiday Inn.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
The Georgia Theatre in Athen, GA is a lovely venue to play. There’s a lot of pride that goes into their shows and production. It feels good to play venues that really care about the sound and craft of a show. They create the ultimate experience for both the musicians and the audience.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
I love going to festivals and discovering new artists. That’s the beauty of them. We recently played Warren Haynes’ wonderful festival Mountain Jam in Hunter Mountain, NY this Summer and our slot was right in between Grace Potter and Robert Plant. That was a pretty cool line up and I was humbled to be a part of it.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Definitely releasing our new album Loved Wild Lost. We all put a lot of love, dedication and time into its creation and it is very dear to me.
What do you do to relax?
I love to do yoga and I am constantly working on my meditation practice. A little red wine and weed never hurts a girl either.
What are you reading?
I just finished reading H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. It’s a beautiful story of loss, courage and self discovery.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I try not to watch too much TV but there are so many good programs on it’s hard. I love most of the HBO series; Boardwalk Empire, Veep and of course my old standby Sex and The City.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
I usually like YouTube videos that include cats doing silly things. Any chance I get to laugh and laugh hard, I take.
What website do you visit most?
I absolutely love Tara Brach. She is a spiritual teacher and offers all kinds of talks and meditations on her website. I typically visit that website at least once a day. It helps ground me.
Who is your favourite current artist?
I’m really liking what Natalie Prass is doing. Her album is very interesting and I listen to it often. Jason Isbell is another songwriter who continues to capture my attention with his gravelly voice and poignant lyrics.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
We watched Paul McCartney play Outside Lands last year and it was magical. He still has so much energy and character. He made it feel like it was the first time he was playing all those songs. His connection with the audience was masterful in the way it felt like he was inviting you into his living room to play you some songs. It was incredible to experience such a living legend.
Of course you have terrible shows throughout your career and I don’t think that ever ends! I tweeted at David Crosby and asked him how many bad shows he’s had and he responded “@nickibluhm I have had to play many shitty shows. It’s called dues #howyougetgood”. Sometimes the worst shows are the best shows because they teach you something. One of our worst shows happened to be in Pocatello, ID after a long day of getting banged up by rocks along the river. The best part of the show was that I could wear my bathing suit and smoke a cigarette on stage.
Nicki Bluhm’s latest album Love Wild Lost is available now via Little Slur Records