Nick Gravenites

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Nick Gravenites
Nick-Gravenites.jpg
Gravenites playing to the crowd, 2006 Photo: Louis Ramirez
Background information
Also known asNick "The Greek"
Born(1938-10-02) October 2, 1938 (age 75)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
GenresRock, blues, rock and roll, folk rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, producer
LabelsColumbia, Warner Bros., Taxim Records, Line Records, Music Box, 2Burn1 Records
Associated actsBig Brother And The Holding Company, John Cipollina, Paul Butterfield Blues Band,
WebsiteNick Gravenites.com
Notable instruments
guitar
 
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Nick Gravenites
Nick-Gravenites.jpg
Gravenites playing to the crowd, 2006 Photo: Louis Ramirez
Background information
Also known asNick "The Greek"
Born(1938-10-02) October 2, 1938 (age 75)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
GenresRock, blues, rock and roll, folk rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, producer
LabelsColumbia, Warner Bros., Taxim Records, Line Records, Music Box, 2Burn1 Records
Associated actsBig Brother And The Holding Company, John Cipollina, Paul Butterfield Blues Band,
WebsiteNick Gravenites.com
Notable instruments
guitar

Nicholas George Gravenites (/ɡrævɨˈntɨs/; born October 2, 1938, Chicago, Illinois), with stage names like Nick "The Greek" Gravenites and Gravy, is a blues, rock and folk singersongwriter, and is best known for his work with Janis Joplin, Mike Bloomfield and several influential bands and names of the generation springing from the 1960s and '70s.[1] He currently resides in Occidental, California.

Career[edit]

According to author and pop music critic Joel Selvin, Gravenites is "the original San Francisco connection for the Chicago crowd." Gravenites is credited as a "musical handyman" helping such San Francisco bands as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Janis Joplin's first solo group, the Kosmic Blues Band. Nick wrote various songs for Joplin, including her Woodstock hit "Work Me Lord"[2] and the unfinished instrumental track "Buried Alive In The Blues". Gravenites also worked extensively with John Cipollina after producing the first Quicksilver Messenger Service album. He and Cipollina formed the Nick Gravenites–John Cipollina Band which toured a lot in Europe.

When the band Big Brother and the Holding Company reformed from 1969 to 1972 (without Janis Joplin), Nick was the lead singer.

Gravenites was also a songwriter for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which consisted of Elvin Bishop, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay and Michael Bloomfield, then formed The Electric Flag with Butterfield guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Gravenites is also responsible for writing the score for The Trip, produced the music for the movie Steelyard Blues. He produced the pop hit "One Toke Over the Line" for Brewer & Shipley and the album Right Place, Wrong Time for Otis Rush, for which he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Together with John Kahn, Gravenites produced the album 'Not mellowed with Age' by Southern Comfort (CBS S 64125 - 1970). Over the years, Gravenites would often use pianist Pete Sears in his band "Animal Mind", including on his 1980 Blue Star album on which Sears played keyboards and bass.

In the early '80s, Gravenites performed and recorded with a revolving group of SF Bay Area rock, blues, and soul musicians called The Usual Suspects. Their first album, "The Usual Suspects," released in 1981, included Gravenites on vocals along with Mike Bloomfield, Pete Sears, Taj Mahal, Darol Anger, Peter Rowan, Mark Naftalin, Anna Rizzo, Ron Thompson, and others.

Gravenites and Sears played together in front of 100,000 people on Earth Day 1990 at Crissy Field, San Francisco. Sears also joined him for a tour of Greece.

He still performs live in northern California. Gravenites was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003 for his song "Born In Chicago". He recently toured with the Chicago Blues Reunion and a new Electric Flag Band.

Nick is featured in a documentary film entitled "Born In Chicago" where he and several other Chicago natives tell their story of growing up with blues music in Chicago. The film was shown at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX in 2013 and is appearing in various movie theaters around the west coast.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]