Recommended Cincinnati Concerts: Nicki Bluhm with Gill Landry at Taft Theatre's Ballroom (Nov. 6)

The acclaimed Americana singer/songwriter's tour supporting her triumphant solo album 'To Rise You Gotta Fall' brings her to Cincinnati for an Election Night concert.

Nov 2, 2018 at 10:42 am

click to enlarge Nicki Bluhm - Photo: Noah Adams
Photo: Noah Adams
Nicki Bluhm
Nicki Bluhm’s new album, To Rise You Gotta Fall, is the story of her journey from tragedy to triumph after experiencing the ultimate emotional wound and how she nurtured her ongoing healing process and accepted the reality of the impermanence of something she believed would last forever.

The first leg of Bluhm’s odyssey began when she was 19 and just learning to play guitar and exploring the mechanics of songwriting. At that critical juncture, she saw Tim Bluhm and his band The Mother Hips in San Francisco, and then met him after the show. Their subsequent post-show chats included his encouragement of her blossoming musical skills and eventually turned into a romantic and creative relationship. They tied the knot in 2007.

Shortly thereafter, the Bluhms formed The Gramblers, fronted by Nicki and her soaring vocals and gorgeous and introspective Folk/Pop compositions and co-writes with the band, while Tim served as guitarist, co-writer, producer and mentor. In 2010 they released Driftwood, credited solely to Nicki, while touring extensively; two years later, The Gramblers became a YouTube sensation with their “Van Sessions,” a series of videos documenting the band playing covers of favorite songs — including Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” and Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That” — from the confines of their tour van. In 2013 the band released Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, their debut under the band name followed two years later by Loved Wild Lost.

By that point, touring and alcohol and substance issues led to relationship issues and the couple separated musically and personally after the release of Loved Wild Lost. After 10 years of marriage, Tim asked for a divorce, admitting that he had been unfaithful for at least half of their time together. Shocked by the betrayal, Nicki withdrew into herself and tried to find solace and answers in her songwriting, which resulted in the beautifully powerful songs on To Rise You Gotta Fall, her first album without her now ex-husband’s input. Featuring a co-write with Ryan Adams (“Something Really Mean”), To Rise You Gotta Fall is packed with Nicki Bluhm’s hard-fought wisdom about navigating some of life’s greatest emotional challenges and remembering how to be her own best friend, lessons that can benefit us all. 

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