When she was a youngster and now as a rock star, Nicki Bluhm will always make time for Tahoe.
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers open for the Steve Miller Band Saturday, June 22, the first of eight shows in the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Summer Concert Series at Harveys in Stateline.
Bluhm spoke on a cell phone to Tahoe Onstage as she traveled across Tennessee to Bonnaroo, one of the band’s seven festivals this summer.
“It’s pretty cool traveling the country doing what you love,” said Bluhm, who once had a summer job at the Fanny Bridge intersection in Tahoe City. “I was a parking lot girl at the “Y.” I was in charge of flagging down cars and signing them up for our rafting company. I got really tanned because I was on the blacktop all day.”
A Bay Area native who now lives in San Francisco, Bluhm said she learned to ski at the resort now called Northstar California.
“I have a strong connection from growing up there, so for me going back to Tahoe has been really comfortable and comforting,” she said. “No matter the season it’s always cool to be back in Tahoe.”
A fan of the Mother Hips, which formed in Chico, Nicki Bluhm eventually married the band leader, Tim Bluhm, who is now in her band.
A solid performance at Quincy’s High Sierra Music Festival jump started the new band. “It helped put us on the radar,” Nicki Bluhm said.
Another high-watermark with a 2012 viral video for a “Van Session” remake of the Hall and Oates song “I Can’t Go For That.” It had more than 2 million visits.
The band record two albums, and a third self-titled record performed by each of the band’s current members will be released on Aug. 27. To listen to the album’s first single, “Little Too Late,” click HERE.
Bluhm may have realized she had become a major sensation in February when it she was booked to headline the final night of the second annual Snowlive at the Crystal Bay Casino, a four-day festival of all-star players backed by the trio Soulive.
“It was definitely a little intimidating meeting Papa Mali, the Soulive guys and George Porter,” she said. “Be they were so down to earth and nice.”
Lake Tahoe Outdoor Summer Concert Series
June 22 – Steve Miller Band, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
July 16 – Tim McGraw
July 19 – Rascal Flatts, the Band Perry
July 30-31 – Phish
Aug. 27 – FUN., Tegan & Sara
Aug. 30 – Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Lee Brice
Sept. 4 – Dave Matthews Band, Gary Clark Jr.