Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

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We loves us some Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers at the Impound, particularly these endlessly charming Van Sessions. We also loves us some Hall & Oates, and this is as fine a version of this classic single as we’ve ever heard. Way to nail the keyboard hook, and the harmonies from the boys make us smile. Broadly. Though we’re not nearly as, uh, happy as one YouTube commenter who remarked, “KAZOO IS FUCKING AWESOME I JIZZED.” We seriously don’t know how to respond to that but it seems like a compliment.

And after you’re done watching you can check out DI’s chat with John Oates to really simmer in the feeling. And be sure to catch the hard touring Nick and the Gramblers as they travel around this great nation making music a good deal sweeter. Find dates and details here.

Rich Robinson

2012 European Tour

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Rich Robinson & Crooked Sun are currently tooling around Europe on their first tour overseas, carving out their fan base the old fashioned way in a small van with minimal amenities. It’s refreshing to see a lifer like Robinson and his equally committed mates roll up their sleeves and do what has to be done in order to make the rock ‘n’ roll in their hearts. The work shows in the increasingly together band sound and how the songs off Rich’s latest album are evolving – all in all, a sound very different than what we’ve heard from Robinson in The Black Crowes, altogether more personal and a good deal looser, too. The group rolls into the U.K. starting tomorrow, and you can check out their full touring schedule here. One gets a strong dose of the vibe of this tour in the three tour videos they’ve shared thus far, the latest one centered on their visit to Stockholm.

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

New Van Sessions Covers

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Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers have once again boarded their trusty tour van, which lacks a radio but never a song, as evidenced by these recent covers by one of modern classic rock’s most charming young bands. You can catch them opening for The Infamous String Dusters this week in Wyoming, Montana and more, and soon on the annual Tour d’Amour with ALO. Find the Gramblers full tour schedule here. Best handling of this Funkadelic nug since The Balancing Act owned it in the 80s. And points for tackling Bobby Darin and Patsy Cline – giants true but you kids are walking in them footprints just fine. And for more colorful details from the road, check out Grambler’s lead guitarist Deren Ney‘s excellent new tour blog over here

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

Material Girl

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The ongoing tour van project of covering iconic pop tunes continues for Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers as they make their way around Utah. This Madonna classic – yes, it is and you shut up if you don’t think so – shows the gang at their most endearingly sweet, fans of pop culture able to do something fresh with it that’s their own. And apparently, this number helped them with a traffic stop in the Beehive State, too. Thanks, Ms. Ciccone. Your gifts just keep on giving.

Catch Nicki and the Gramblers tonight (10/21) at Sidecar in Park City, UT and tomorrow night and tomorrow night (10/22) at Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, UT. Find the full calendar of fall Gramblin’ over here.

If you Gramblers are gonna keep this up, the Impound humbly suggests you get around to Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight”, Sly & The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun In The Summertime”, Seals & Crofts’ “Diamond Girl”, Extreme’s “More Than Words”, and Barenaked Ladies’ “Brian Wilson”. But just keep these coming whatever tunes you choose. Such a fun snapshot of band life that we’re lucky to share.

Free Rides with Great American Taxi #2

Homer to Laurelton

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Keyboardist-singer-songwriter Chad Staehly of Dirty Impound faves Great American Taxi brings us another tale from GAT’s recent travels.

Well, we all knew it was the back-breaker of the summer and when it got put up on the calendar we all cringed a little bit but decided we’d pull it off knowing things would slow down considerably afterwards…

I guess you never know what’s going to happen when you head out on “tour”, but this one in particular had all the ingredients for a screenplay writing itself as we went, some type of rockumentary or hard luck movie. Not much comes easy when you and four other guys pile into a Chevrolet Suburban, which for all intent and purposes turns into your home for the coming weeks. Yeah, you know, five grown men, well, “grown” might be exaggerating a bit, after all. I don’t know that anyone in our Suburban would admit to having “grown up” yet; we’re all under-developed enough to live in a sport utility vehicle for 3 weeks. Oh yeah, we didn’t live in the Suburban the entire stretch, we decided that we’d skip sleep for two nights and take a detour to Alaska on the big bird. After we had plotted a course from Colorado to California and then back across to Chicago, Cleveland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, we got a call from our new found friend Jim Stearn about being part of Salmonstock 2011 in Ninilchik, AK, which would be a music festival designed to raise awareness and funds to stop the Pebble Mine on the Kenai Peninsula. We all decided that any chance to go to Alaska is always welcomed and the fact that we could go and play music and be part of a good cause would make it all worthwhile despite having to skip a couple of nights sleep.

going down the road

The New Mastersounds

Silly Summer Nonsense

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While rock is the Impound’s raison d’etre, we do venture off on a good foot from time to time when quality funk comes calling. And The New Mastersounds are nothing but quality. A lean quartet, the lads hailing from the United Kingdom, possess the classic form of The Meters but a more modern inflection that reflects the world traveling they’ve done with their music, bits of Brazil, Africa and elsewhere clinging to the swamp ready boogie base. It’s sexy music and a great deal of fun, too. Dancing will usually ensue when The New Mastersounds unleash their mojo, but there’s more than enough going on musically and composition-wise that one can enjoy a cup of tea and let their mind dig into their groove most pleasantly.

The New Mastersounds recently released their best studio album yet, Breaks From The Border (out August 9 on Tallest Man Records), and their first set recorded in the U.S. It’s one of those seamless, sweet rides that makes you press repeat quickly after the final fading notes just ’cause it makes a body (and mind) feel good.

The rest of this week we’ll have the members of The New Mastersounds popping up on Dirty Impound to answer our Hey Shredder and Gimme Some Skin segments whilst we wax poetic about their playing. And we promise to tap keyboard whiz Joe Tatton once we start our keyboard questionnaire in September. For now, a couple glimpses of Silly Summer Nonsense from the road with one of soul-funk’s torchbearers along with a taste of the new album.

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

Van Sessions

1 Reply

A few thoughts about this trio of clips from Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, who happen to be the highest octane pop-Americana combo in Northern California (and most of the damn country) right now. Seriously, real classically grounded singer-songwriter, musician-oriented music ripe for the picking for anyone smitten with vintage Linda Ronstadt and other West Coast glories. So, our thoughts:

1. How is it an already ridiculously charismatic band can be this much more charming?
2. In the right hands ukulele and melodica are good things.
3. Their rendition of the Whitney Houston hit made us forget about her reality show craziness…momentarily.
4. Having no radio in a tour van can be hell, but it can also be a catalyst to creativity and fun.
5. We question your red-blooded humanity if you aren’t at least a little bit in love with Nicki.
6. Thanks for making us go back and listen to Anne Murray’s version of “Hey! Baby”.
7. Gregg Allman will feel instantly better if he hears your version of his ditty.
8. Is it okay if we send out a big smooch for all your foreheads, Gramblers, for making music this pure and sweet?

How Will I Know:

Hey! Baby:

Ramblin’ Man:

Antioquia | Honeymoon Express 2

June 25, 2011

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The second missive from the road delivered by Rachel Antony-Levine and Tomas Salcedo, the two newest members of Bay Area genre-busters Antioquia. The band just hit the road again for a new East Coast tour, stopping tonight, Friday, July 22 at The Juggling Gypsy in Wilmington, NC and tomorrow, Saturday, July 23, at One Stop in Asheville, NC. Find tour date info here.

Antioquia by Sophie Spinelle

Adley and Craig have an obsession with jumping into cold water that borders on unhealthy. It’s not a macho thing, I don’t think. Craig claims he doesn’t ever feel alive the way he feels when he’s jumping into natural, ice-cold water. Accustomed as I now am to this very scenario, I was still alarmed to see Craig and Adley strip naked by the side of the snow-banked road just outside of Yosemite National Park and dive into what must have been the coldest water we’d encountered; there was still ice floating atop it. From the comfort of my comfy pants and sweatshirt, blanketed up in a sleeping bag on the loft inside the bus, I watched a shivering, dripping Craig come waddling back inside, too delirious to dry himself before collapsing beside me. “That was great!” he blurted, shoveling his way into some blankets.

The Antioquia obsession with getting naked and into water has led us to some amazing spots. Just outside of Boise we went to one of the most pristine, perfect camping spots by hot springs that I’ve ever seen. We swore to our hosts that we would not divulge the location (though I’m not even sure how we could since we were never told the name of the place…Idahoans really know how to keep a secret). In Montana, we visited Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, where we saw a moose. Oddly enough, the band saw a moose last year in the exact same spot. Clearly moose love Antioquia.

antler onward