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  • Jen Siska

    Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers will perform with the Easy Leaves at 9 p.m. today at Harlow’s.

  • Courtesy of Spearhead / Courtesy of Spearhead

    Michael Franti and Spearhead will perform Thursday at the CSUS Union Ballroom.

Three to See: Live music highlights around Sacramento

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers – Americana rock, 9 p.m. Friday at Harlow’s

The meteoric rise started in the tour van in 2012, with effervescent songstress Nicki Bluhm behind the wheel, crooning the lyrics of Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That,” with rhythm being tapped and strummed by her equally jubilant band of passengers, the Gramblers (which includes hubby and Mother Hips frontman Tim Bluhm, and Sacramento’s Jackpot drummer Mike Curry). The band soon had 2 1/2 million views of its “van sessions” on YouTube, multiple festival appearances, coast-to-coast touring and opening slots for the likes of the Steve Miller Band and Gov’t Mule. Whatever “it” is, Nicki Bluhm has it; the silky sweetness and “girl next door” allure of a young Linda Ronstadt and the rock goddess edge of Grace Potter. With the Easy Leaves. Doors 8 p.m. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $18. (916) 441-4693.

Quinn DeVeaux & the Blue Beat Review – Blues, Saturday at Sac Groove (Torch Club)

Bay Area bluesman Quinn DeVeaux isn’t nearly old enough – but to listen to him and his band shuffle through vintage, soul-drenched R&B chords and harmonies, you’d swear he must have been hiding under the piano during Ray Charles’ early ’50s Atlantic Records sessions, taking notes the entire time. DeVeaux headlines Saturday’s festivities at Sac Groove (formerly Blues for Life), benefiting the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation. The packed two-day lineup also features the likes of local jam stalwarts Mind X, Joy & Madness and the Keri Carr Band on Saturday, with KB & the Slingtones and Mercy Me on Sunday. 4 p.m. to midnight. Saturday; 2-8 p.m. Sunday. 904 15th St., Sacramento. $25-$40. (916) 443-2797.

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Rock, reggae and R&B, 7 p.m. Thursday at Sac State Union Ballroom

Michael Franti is a spitfire performer able to simultaneously exude a zenlike inner peace. One is never quite sure if his comfort zone is pouring gas on the fires of civil unrest with the gusto of Rage Against the Machine or sitting around the campfire singing Bob Marley tunes. Somewhere in the middle ground is where Spearhead usually resides, churning out hip-hop-laced, funk-tinged reggae rock licks, woven together by Franti’s almost prophetic “power to the peaceful” lyricism and unbridled showmanship. With Ethan Tucker. 6000 J St., Sacramento. $22.50.

Looking Ahead: Mazzy Star – Alternative rock, Nov. 1 at Harlow’s

Jonesing for some “Fade Into You”? The shoegaze heroes of the ’90s are back with last month’s release of “Seasons of Your Day,” the band’s first new material in 17 years. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $25.

Read more articles by Aaron Davis

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