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The Van Sessions is a YouTube music video series featuring acoustic covers of classic songs performed by the San Francisco-based rock band Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers in a moving van.
On July 25th, 2011, Nicki Bluhm uploaded several videos of the band performing cover songs in a moving van, including the 1973 country rock song “Ramblin Man” by The Allman Brothers (shown below, left) and “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston (shown below, right). In the first two years, both videos gained over 150,000 views and 100 comments.
On September 26th, 2011, Bluhm uploaded a cover of the 1975 rock song “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt (shown below, left), gathering upwards of 280,000 views and 390 comments in the next two years. On January 11th, 2012, the channel uploaded a cover of the 1969 Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” (shown below, right). In the following 19 months, the video received more than 310,000 views and 400 comments.
Hall and Oates Cover
On March 23rd, 2012, a Van Sessions cover of the song “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates was posted to YouTube (shown below), garnering upwards of 2.5 million views and 3,700 comments in the first two years.
On March 25th, Redditor Phibbsy submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it accumulated over 1,200 up votes and 90 comments prior to being archived. In the coming days, the video was highlighted on the Internet news blog The Daily What and the viral content site BuzzFeed. On August 13th, 2013, Bluhm performed the song live with John Oates (shown below).
On July 20th, 2012, The Denver Post published an interview with Bluhm, in which she expressed that she wants fans to be interested in the band’s original music and appreciates the exposure the Van Sessions videos brought. On June 1st, 2013, CBS News published an article about the band’s YouTube success, including quotes from Bluhm who revealed that the group was able to quit their day jobs and “upgrade to a bigger fan” following the success of the Van Sessions videos.
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