Before he was on "The Voice," Nakia was a Blues Grifter. Named for the age-old concept of stealing from the greats, the Blues Grifters formed in 2010. The band quickly became a hit on the club circuit in Austin performing at the legendary Antone’s Nightclub, and began recording its first album. A video of Nakia's full-throated performances found its way to television producer Mark Burnett who recruited Nakia for his new show. Reluctant but hopeful, Nakia put the band, and the album on pause.
Nakia knew it was time to call up the Blues Grifters again when he was invited to appear on the ALL ATX compilation album in 2016 and together, they transformed The Allman Brothers Band's “Whipping Post” into a lowdown gritty sax-infused soul jam. Renewed from that studio experience, Nakia was ready to finish the album he started almost a decade ago with his long-time collaborator and fellow Grifter, Mac McNabb.
“I wanted this album to be a homage to the great blues artists who inspired me," Nakia recalls, "but I am also paying tribute to the “grifters” who came before me. Artists who turned me and millions more onto the blues like the Stones and the Allman Brothers, Boz and Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. We cut these songs using old ribbon mics, analog gear and tape machines. Many of the songs recorded live, all in the room together. Real live blues -- the way it was meant to be."