Nicki Bluhm, stepping out on her own with her new album, TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL, has announced fall US tour dates; Gill Landry will support. Bluhm wrote the life-chronicling songs for TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL over a tumultuous two-year period during which she got divorced and moved from the Bay Area to Nashville. The album, recorded with producer Matt Ross-Spang at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis, TN, is a chronicle of her state of mind following these deep and fundamental life changes. Recent high-profile collaborations with Phil Lesh, The Infamous Stringdusters and Ryan Adams helped to pave the way for her musical recovery, and discovery.
“These songs are quite personal,” Bluhm says. “They are the conversations I never got to have, the words I never had the chance to say, and the catharsis I wouldn’t have survived without.”
Bluhm’s divorce, along with the need to challenge herself, inspired the West Coast native to make her spur-of- the moment, cross-country move to Nashville in 2017. Producer Ross-Spang happened to be mixing a record in Nashville at the time and they met and hit it off immediately.
“I really needed someone who was going to take the reins and have a vision for the album and he really did,” Bluhm says of meeting Ross-Spang. “I wanted a clean slate. The only baggage I wanted to bring into the studio were the words to the songs I was singing. So we agreed we’d record in Memphis.”
The first song they recorded was the title track. “Ken [Coomer — Uncle Tupelo, Wilco] just started playing the groove and the band slowly started to drift in. Ken is such a present musician; he’s listening to the words and reading the room and the feel.” The musicians included Will Sexton (electric guitar), Matt Ross-Spang (guitars), Coomer (drums and percussion), Al Gamble (Hammond B3), Rick Steff (Wurlitzer), Dave Smith (bass), and Reba Russell and Susan Marshall (vocals), with Sam Shoup (string arrangements) and various special guests. What you hear is the sense of discovery in each song.
Since the album’s release, Bluhm has toured extensively in the States and also joined Phil Lesh on tour. “I’m rediscovering my authentic self and that feels really good,” Bluhm says. “This is where I need to be right now, and I know the impermanence of life. I’m not going to lie and say it’s totally comfortable or that I’m completely at peace but I’m trying to live in the moment and trust the universe to take me where I am meant to go.”
*with Gill Landry
Thu, NOV 01 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle *
Fri, NOV 02 Asheville, NC Salvage Station *
Sat, NOV 03 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West *
Sun, NOV 04 Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre *
Tue, NOV 06 Cincinnati, OH – Taft Ballroom *
Wed, NOV 07 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
Thu, NOV 08 Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club *
Fri, NOV 09 Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall *
Sat, NOV 10 St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House *
Mon, NOV 12 Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room *
Tue, NOV 13 Kansas City, MO – Knucklehead’s *
Wed, NOV 14 Tulsa, OK – Vanguard *
Fri, NOV 16 Austin, TX – The Parish *
Sat, NOV 17 Dallas, TX – The Rustic *
Sun, NOV 18 Houston, TX – Bronze Peacock Room @ House Of Blues *
Mon, NOV 19 New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s Uptown *
Fri, NOV 30 San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads with the Coffis Brothers