Nicki Bluhm Bridges the Gap Between Fashion, Music

The Gap national ad campaign catapults Bluhm from the small indie stages



Nicki Bluhm is the wife of Mother Hips singer Tim Bluhm, and also the front woman of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, who play at Pappy & Harriet's Aug. 28 in Pioneertown.

Courtesy of Nicki Bluhm

I remember driving down the streets of Los Angeles sometime in 2012 and marveling at the image of a svelte, brunette model — mid-hair toss — gripping a microphone and looking outrageously fierce in a pair of school bus-yellow corduroys and a chambray button-up in what was, the latest Gap ad.

After temporarily contemplating getting the outfit for myself, my next thought was, “What a cool-looking chick.”

That “cool-looking chick” is Nicki Bluhm.

The San Francisco-based performer is the wife of Mother Hips singer Tim Bluhm. She’s also the front woman of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. The Internet is alive with a number of Bluhm’s innovative music covers including the viral sensation “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, originally performed by Hall & Oates.

When Madison Avenue came calling in 2012 — by way of sportswear giant, The Gap — Bluhm went along for the ride and landed in a national ad campaign that took her from the stages of small indie venues, to instant name recognition among music lovers, pop-culture fanatics, and fashion bloggers.

“I think people want to see the truth in music and in fashion,” Bluhm says of her foray into high glamour. “Fashion meets function – it’s got to be functional.”

Up next for the singer is a full-length, self-titled album slated for release Aug. 27. In support of the release, Bluhm is slated to play a collection of dates that will take her up and down the Pacific Coast, including a sold-out show in her hometown.

Then, it’s off to the Coachella Valley, where she’ll dazzle onstage Aug. 28 at Pappy and Harriet’s.

“I love playing Pappy’s,” Bluhm explains. “I started going out to Pioneertown to see my friend Arabella Harrison. She’s a San Diego musician. She’s played up there a lot with her band, Bartender’s Bible. She started bringing me up there 10 years ago. You start looking at the pictures on the wall and the wear on the floor. It’s definitely a special place.”

Bluhm’s life partner will also be on tour during that time, making the rigors of the road a little less taxing. Two musicians in a relationship often elicit the occasional giggle and perhaps a judgmental stare or two from conservative eyes. But the Bluhms have patented a successful formula, playing and traveling together.

“You know, it’s a happy medium just figuring all that out,” she says. “We’re both really passionate about music and it’s kind of an amazing thing to show someone you’re married to. It’s definitely challenging, but it’s also helpful at times having someone who understands this lifestyle.”

While married life provides a strong foundation, it’s Nicki’s own enviable talent and ever-expanding fan base that keeps her going. Her career continues to careen toward the stratosphere, giving her much to aspire to.

“I’m still sort of young in my songwriting career, so I guess a lot is still to be seen,” she muses.

Experience Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers in person when they appear at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road., Pioneertown. (760) 365-5956; at 8 p.m. Aug. 28. For more information, visit www.pappyandharriets.com

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Halloween 2014: Glam it Up With Help From Makeup Experts

The experts at All Tressed Up on El Paseo in Palm Desert can help you glam it up for Halloween with a professional VIP makeover experience.

Parade of Planes Opens Flying Aviation Expo in Palm Springs

Flying Magazine editor Robert Goyer will experience a homecoming of sorts when he taxis his plane in the Parade of Planes on Oct. 30 to start the 2014 Flying Aviation Expo.

Bobbie Eakes Preps to 'BE' Noticed With Clothing Line

Emmy-nominated actress Bobbie Eakes is preparing to light up Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District district with the launch of her retail fashion business, Studio BE.

Mamie Van Doren Celebrates Palm Springs Connection with Exhibit

The Palm Springs Historical Society celebrates 1950s blonde bombshell and former Miss Palm Springs, Mamie Van Doren with the opening of her exhibit Oct. 25.

Judy Tenuta Ready to Dish Dirt for AIDS Benefit

Comedian Judy Tenuta will dish the dirt about her Hollywood encounters with stars like Bea Arthur and Joan Rivers during an AIDS Assistance Program benefit on Nov. 1 in Palm Springs.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.