2018 Monday Residency 8
Nakia and the Blues Grifters
February 26, 2018
8:00 pm
The Skylark Lounge
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Monday nights just got a lot hotter! Join Nakia and the Blues Grifters at The Skylark Lounge for their new Monday night residency. Show starts at 8PM. No cover but bring some cash for that tip jar!
“We are so pumped to be bringing our real live blues to the eastside this month. We got some brand new songs to work out on stage and of course all the crowd favorites too.” – Nakia
About Nakia and the Blues Grifters:
Before Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLo’s team during the first season of The Voice on NBC, he was fronting Nakia and the Blues Grifters. In fact, it was his full-throated, soulful performance on a YouTube video of the band that led to The Voice producer Mark Burnett recruiting him for the hit TV show in 2011.
Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002. After a brief stint in the Small Stars, a tongue-in-cheek lounge act fronted by Fastball’s Miles Zuniga, he formed Nakia & His Southern Cousins, got booked to perform at the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival, and wound up singing with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. Alejandro Escovedo heard him at a Rolling Stones tribute, which led to him singing backing vocals on Escovedo’s Street Songs of Love album, and to a second recommendation — this time by producer Tony Visconti — for Nakia to front his own Blues band. So he formed the Blues Grifters with guitarist and producer Mac McNabb, bass player Chris Johnson, and drummer Kevin Lance.
The band took a four year hiatus while Nakia focused on a solo career, but reformed when Nakia was asked to appear on the upcoming ALL ATX album, “Low Down Violet Crown: Austin Rocks the Blues.”
“They asked us to cut “Whipping Post,”” said Nakia, “but we told them we needed to grind that tune up and smoke it first.” The result is a complete reimagining of The Allman Brothers classic. Transforming it from an 11/8 prog-rocking dirge into gritty funky blues in 4/4 that culminates into a double time frenzy
featuring new Blues Grifters members Jan Flemming on Hammond B3 and piano, and saxophonist, Vinnie Limon.
The band tightened their sound over 30 weeks in residency at Antone’s and C-Boy’s Heart & Soul where they were joined by many special guests including Gary Clark Jr. and Charlie Gillingham. Nakia and the Blues Grifters expect to release
their debut album on vinyl in early 2018.