Propeller Publicity

THE MOTHER HIPS The Hips’ perform at S.F.’s Outside Lands Fest this SAT, August 10 

Stream their fest performance live at TuneIn.com’s Outside Lands Radio  

Tune in this SAT, 8/10 to hear the Hips’ on “Sedge Thomson’s West Coast Live” Broadcasting live from 10 am - noon PT; click here for more info

Bay Area legends The Mother Hips will once again be part of San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival line-up when they perform this Saturday, August 10 at 6:05 pm PT at the Panhandle Stage in Golden Gate Park. The Hip’s performance will be streaming live at TuneIn.com’s Outside Lands Radio (click to listen live). The Mother Hips will start the day with a live stripped-down performance on Sedge Thomson’s West Coast Live.  WLC will broadcast live from the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, August 10 from 10 am to noon PT and will also be available as a podcast on WCL’s website. To listen to the show live click here for regional affiliates and air times.  If you’re in the Bay Area, tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets here.  On Sunday, August 11, the Hips will be one of nine festival acts performing an intimate acoustic set at the AT&T Mobile Performance Lounge live at 6 pm PT.

The Hips, fronted by songwriters Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono, who formed the band back in their college days in Chico, CA,have just released their eighth studio album, Behind Beyond. This releasemarks 20 years since their debut album came out on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings. The Hips’ eclectic sound - cosmic country, Beatle-esque pop and RnR was dubbed "California Soul" and has brought the band a loyal, grassroots following. The band has weathered being on a major label, drug habits, line-up changes and a fickle industry to emerge as a complete cottage industry: they have their own self-sufficient imprint, Mother Hips Records, their own beer, "Hips Helles," their own "Mother Hips ‘California Soul’" wines and their own rock festival, Hipnic, held annually at Big Sur.     

Bluhm says that making the music meaningful — going beyond just having a solid, well-played tune — is the most important thing for him.  

 "I’m trying to make music that has a spiritual aspect where it’s more than just a good song and more than just a rocking band or a commodity, an emotional experience that you might not even know is happening because it’s surrounded by a loud rock band." 

 

"Behind Beyond" available now:

http://www.motherhips.com  

Listen to a new track, “Freed From a Prison,” here.

Mother Hips live session on KFOG here

Praise for the Mother Hips: 

"Twenty years in, The Mother Hips certainly have their own grizzled tale to tell. Behind Beyond finds the band in very fine form." - American Songwriter

"sidles up nicely to the rest of band’s damn-near spotless body of work." - Paste Magazine

"while they may not be a common household name, the fact that they have created a loyal and devoted fanbase while doing things their way is testament to just how important they are to the American music landscape.” - Hear Ya

"picture Big Star and Golden Smog driving along a beach road in California and into the sunset.

- MOJO Magazine 4 stars

"Tim Bluhm’s enchanting voice, and Greg Loiacono’s velvet harmonies drive a landscape that is cinematic and voluptuous.” - Jambase

Tour Dates:

SA Aug 10                  San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands

SA Aug 24                  Sand City, CA - West End Celebration

SU Aug 25                  St Helena, CA - Long Meadow Ranch Winery

FR Sept 13                 Denver, CO- TBD

SA Sept 14                 Salt Lake City, Utah- The State Room

FR Sept 20                 Pioneertown, CA - The Mother Hips Desert Dust Up at Pappy & Harriet’s w/Los Lobos 

SA Sept 21                 Pioneertown, CA - The Mother Hips Desert Dust Up at Pappy & Harriet’s

FR Sept 27                 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up

SA Oct 5                    San Luis Obispo, CA - Harbor Fest

TH Nov 14                  Washington DC- The Hamilton

FR Nov 15                  Philadelphia, PA - The Blockley

SA Nov 16                  New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

*Additional dates to be announced soon

The Mother Hips

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MEG HUTCHINSON - The award-winning songwriter and poet returns with her new album “Beyond That” on September 24

Premiere the video for “Only Just Begun” here

   Meg’s interview with “The Gatekeeper” Kevin Briggs on “Bob Edwards Weekend”
                  will air July 26-28 on PRI Radio; listen to the interview here


Meg Hutchinson Meg Hutchinson “Only Just Begun” (official music video)

July 26, 2013: Award-winning songwriter, poet and mental health advocate Meg Hutchinson will be releasing a new studio album, Beyond That, on September 24, 2013 on Grammy-winning indie label Red House Records. The album reunites Hutchinson with veteran Boston producer Crit Harmon (Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier) for what is her most experimental and intricate production to date. “Crit and I have worked together for a decade now. I wanted to build on that trust and that shared musical language and really encourage each other to find new sounds,” she says. “I felt that I had reached a new landscape in myself and I wanted the album to reflect that.” The result is an album reminiscent of David Gray’s White Ladder where revelatory lyrics combine with a fresh contemporary production.   

Beyond That is available for pre-order now at Amazon and iTunes; Hutchinson is premiering
the first video from the album, "Only Just Begun," on her website here. You can also tune into PRI radio this Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28, to hear Meg’s interview with Golden Gate Bridge CHP officer Kevin Briggs on Bob Edwards Weekend. Briggs, who’s been recognized for his suicide prevention work, is the subject of her song "The Gatekeeper" from The Living Side. Click here to find out how to listen in.

Hutchinson has been busy in the three years since we last heard from her. She learned to play the piano and established a home studio, giving her greater flexibility to explore new terrain. In her previous album, 2010’s The Living Side, she spoke of wanting to unplug from technology and regain a stillness in her life. The songs on this album, at once ecstatic and meditative, are evidence that she has taken this message to heart.  

"I believe that the role of an artist is to keep braving that deep inner work, to keep growing," she says. "Creativity should be a method for transformation. This takes time, it takes quiet. I have spent a good deal of the last three years walking in the woods with my dog, sitting out on the rocks beside my favorite lake watching the sky go dark, learning a meditation and yoga practice."

The resulting songs are about coming home, about transforming desire, about how human love can open the heart for some greater purpose.  

"We live in the desire realm," Hutchinson says. “If we look closely at our lives we see that all our senses are constantly hungry. We are addicted to information, to success, to consumption. I see this as a major cultural illness right now. We are always sure that there is something better, a better spouse, a better job, a bigger house. What we keep forgetting is that none of this pursuit is bringing us any closer to happiness.”

This new cycle of songs shows us another way. In "Only Just Begun" she contemplates how craving has been integral to survival, but that she hopes to move beyond this instinctual blindness. She sings, “My loves are many, my needs are few, billions of light years, it’s taken me to get here.” She closes the song with the lines “My best work has only just begun, our best work has only just begun.” This seems not only a mission statement but a call to all of us to re-examine our lives.

In “Yellow Room” she writes of a dream she had where she was getting on an amusement park ride but instead was flung into outer space and given a breathtaking view of our planet.  

"I was filled with the sheer beauty of seeing the earth from far away. Filled with this realization that we are all a family inhabiting this one tiny planet in the midst of a vast universe. In the dream all our human arguments were meaningless, and what I was left with was a profound sense of wonder and love." 

As a result of the messages inherent in her earlier albums Come Up Full and The Living Side, Hutchinson has been invited to speak and perform as a mental health advocate across the country at prestigious conferences and teaching hospitals including Johns Hopkins University.

A chronicler of the human condition with a poet’s lyrical sensibility, Hutchinson is a unique, fearless songwriter whose work is vivid and transformative. Look for US tour dates to be announced soon.

Tune in July 26 - 28 to PRI Radio to hear Meg on “Bob Edwards Weekend” or listen here
View the video for "Only Just Begun" here
Pre-order Beyond That on iTunes here and on Amazon here

PRAISE FOR MEG HUTCHINSON 

"In a brooding sea of inscrutable urban songwriters, her whispery, knowable voice feels like it’s sharing her secrets with us. Set to elegant, free-floating melodies that feel both modern and rooted, her lyrics are always seeking, if not actually finding, hope at the end of life’s dark tunnels." - The Boston Globe

"one of those works that quietly gets under your skin…nakedly intimate lyrics, and muted, bittersweet melodies." - Dirty Linen  

"Hutchinson’s falsetto vocal flights echo Joni Mitchell’s technique for expressing the wonder of certain self-revelatory moments.” - The Bluegrass Special

"organic, poetic narratives, each one communicating the singer-songwriter’s keen and descriptive observations of life, love and loss." - PopMatters

 

"Hutchinson’s refreshingly rancor-free compositions demonstrate that music can be soft without being gutless."  - Vintage Guitar

"this lyrically-driven artist brings her soft and eloquent vocals to a series of poetic stories…pulling at every heart string imaginable." - Out Impact

 

MEG HUTCHINSON on the Web:

 Meg Hutchinson Official Site

Red House Records label page  

Facebook

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For more information or to be serviced with this album contact RED HOUSE RECORDS:

Angie Carlson * angie@propellerpublicity.com * 347-215-4710
Brandon Henry * publicity2@redhouserecords.com
* 651-644-4161

MOKB Video Premiere : Crushed Out : “Push Down & Twist” (NSFW) « My Old Kentucky Blog

Crushed Out gave the musical world a jolt of good ol’ fashioned rock last year with the release of their album, Want To Give, via Cool Clear Water Records. The duo throw together a tasty mixture of garage, honky-tonk, and surf. Their latest single from the release is the anti-drug track “Push Down & Twist.” The name refers to the cap on prescription drug bottle. In the video, directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, you get the band playing in a bar to all sorts of characters like a local bicycle gang, skate kids , the Vau de Vire Society, and other neighborhood oddballs. The clip was shot at the Secret Alley in San Francisco, CA and does feature some fun loving hippies dancing around in their birthday suits, so it may not be safe for work, unless you work at a pretty liberal office. Watch below and be sure to catch them at one of their upcoming tour dates.

TH 7/18           GRAND RAPIDS, MI – FOUNDERS’ BREWING CO.

FR 7/19           BEAVER ISLAND, MI - BEAVER ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL

SA 7/20           BEAVER ISLAND, MI - BEAVER ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL 

SU 7/30           LINCOLN, NE – DUFFY’S TAVERN

SA 8/10           BETHLEHEM, PA - MUSIKFEST 

SA 8/17           BROOKLYN, NY – SHEA STADIUM w/ CAGED ANIMALS

TH 9/05           EUGENE, OR - SAM BOND’S GARAGE 

FR 9/06           PORTLAND, OR - MUSICFESTNW

SA 9/07           SEATTLE, WA - SUNSET TAVERN

 

DALE WATSON interviewed by American Songwriter Magazine

Dale Watson: Ameripolitan Style

dale watson
Don’t call Dale Watson country. Although his sound and his roots are grounded in old school classic country, he feels that the genre has been so distorted that he no longer wants to be a part of it. So he’s coined his own phrase, Ameripolitan, for the roots music he and certain select peers play to pay homage to that sound and style. But Watson has expanded the boundaries a bit to include virtually every flavor of country: honky-tonk, hillbilly, western swing, and rockabilly, which he feels is the most neglected part of country roots. “They think its more roots for rock and roll,” he says of the Nashville mentality he’s been at odds with for years, “which might be true, but all these guys were country guys out there doing what they called back then hillbilly music. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee, Elvis and Charlie Rich. Carl Perkins is the king of Ameripolitan rockabilly- “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Honey Don’t,” and all that. It’s just as country to me as Hank Williams’ stuff.”

Watson has been the Antichrist of Country for over two decades, taking on Nashville’s pop-infused all hat and no cattle notion of what they claim that genre to be. He chastised county radio in “A Real Country Song” from 96′s Blessed or Dammed:“Hey Mr. DJ, won’t you play/a real country song/where’s your conscience/what’s your problem/speak up and say what’s wrong/ Play Loretta or Conway/ some Haggard or George Jones.”

“They’ve took the soul out of what means a whole lot to me,” Watson proclaimed on “Country My Ass,” featured on ’02′s Live In London, England: “Cause I can see Hank and Lefty/They’re spinning around in their graves/And if they were here now/ I think y’all know what they’d say/ Tell ‘em stick it up high/Where the sun don’t shine/We’re pissed, we’re mad/ ’cause that’s country, my ass.”

He’s still at it, taking on CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton, who said recently on country music’s media hub GAC (Great American Country) that “nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music.” That comment alone would be enough to send any God fearin’, George Jones and Merle Haggard-worshiping cowboy running for the gun rack in his pickup, but Shelton kept piling it on. “And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.”

Watson was in the middle of a European tour when he heard about it. “We landed in Holland and it had been stewing with me for about 18 hours when I heard about it so we just happened to be in the right place at the right time to record it,” Watson said recently by phone from the road. “We just did a little video — the venue was perfect because it had the picture of Johnny Cash in the background flipping the finger, so it was perfect for the song, ‘I’d Rather Be An Old Fart Than A New Country Turd.’”

Watson says that Shelton, who has been “coaching” new country artists on the TV show The Voice for a couple of seasons, actually did him a favor with his proclamation. “He exposed the emperor doesn’t have any clothes, that Nashville really does feel this way about this type of music,” Watson says. “It’s like the red headed stepchild or somebody they keep in a basement. So he let everybody know exactly how Nashville feels. He does speak for them and that is the way they feel. So it’s been a great ride for this new genre we’re trying to kick off. We said, ‘Hey, if you don’t want this stuff, if you’re gonna throw it away, we’ll gladly take it. We’ll take the roots.’ And that’s all we did. Ameripoliton is the roots of what was country music,’cause now, their roots are midair.”

Watson’s roots are in Alabama and Texas, bouncing from his birthplace in Birmingham to teen years in Houston to L.A. to Nashville before settling in Austin. His sound is smooth honky-tonk, the twang of Buck Owens’ Bakersfield overlaid with Merle Haggard’s velvety delivery and Elvis’ range and power.

He has “twenty something” albums out by his calculations, his latest, El Rancho Azul on Red House Records debuting on Billboard’s Current Country Albums Chart, a career first. Watson didn’t do anything different on this outing, but the mix of drinkin’ songs (“Drink, Drink, Drink,” “I Drink to Remember,” Thanks to Tequila,” and “I Lie When I Drink,” performed June 25 on the David Letterman Show, another first (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHcRTTy0Epg) sweetness (“Daughter’s Wedding Song”) and barroom romance (“Quick, Quick Slow,Slow,” and “Slow Quick Quick”) deliver a spread of Ameripolitan fit for old farts and new ones who still appreciate the classic roots country sound.

As has been common practice for country stars for decades, Watson has a close interactive relationship with fans. But he takes it a step farther than most, encouraging fans to call out ideas for songs he makes up on the spot in his shows. “I used to do a three hour happy hour show every week at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, and I had the audience throw up an idea for a song, a title, give me a key, and what type of song to make it,” Watson says.“Tequila and Teardrops” was written that way(“give it a Mexican feel, a Latin feel in the key of G”), as was “I Lie When I Drink.” Watson admits it’s difficult, and says he sometimes has to grab his phone in the middle of a show and record it to remember what he did and be able to touch it up later and make a proper song out of it. He also gives credit to his band. “You gotta have great players. I got a really great band and they’re able to follow me like they know where I’m going even before I do.”

FREE SONG FROM THE MOTHER HIPS AVAILABLE AT ROLLING STONE

'Song for JB' by The Mother Hips - Free MP3

POSTED: JULY 12, 2013 8:00 AM ET | by ROLLING STONE

The Mother Hips
Rodrigo Pena

Artist: The Mother Hips
Song: "Song for JB"
Album: Behind Beyond

"The song started out about losing friends in general but when Jay Bennett died, it was that story that I was able to tell a little," Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips tells Rolling Stone. “I didn’t know him too well, ran into him a few times on the road, but he was nice, and I felt like we had some things in common.”



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/song-for-jb-by-the-mother-hips-free-mp3-20130712#ixzz2ZKHns4uV 
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Magnet Magazine | GUEST EDITOR - WIT AND WISDOM FROM JONNY FRITZ

Jonny Fritz is a man of many talents and interests. The Nashville-based songwriter, recently a Rolling Stone "artist to watch," is touring for his acclaimed new album, Dad Country, out now on ATO Records.  An avid runner, he’s competed in marathons, is renowned for his hand-tooled leatherwork and is a serious motorcyclist who can ride ‘em and fix ‘em.  

MAGNET Magazine invited Jonny to sit in their guest editor chair this week and share some of his favorite things. From new slogans for PG tips tea, to recommending The Fermata as a good summer read to revealing that his spirit animal is the Batmobile, Jonny shares his thoughts. 

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT PLAY “BECK, BRUBECK AND BACH”

Summer tour featuring guest vocalist Laura Gibson singing selections from the Beck Song Reader

On their upcoming summer tour, kicking off in June (scroll down for complete dates) the Portland Cello Project will masterfully redefine and interweave three composers from three different generations: Beck Hansen, Dave Brubeck and JS Bach. From “Take 5” to the Saint Matthew’s Passion to selections from Beck’s sheet-music only release, Song Reader,  PCP’s “Beck, Bach and Brubeck” tour will span centuries of music with a repertoire of works by these composers and more. Portland-based folk artist Laura Gibson will be the featured vocalist on this tour, joining PCP to perform selections from the Song Reader. Proving that you can, occasionally, take it with you, PCP will offer a CD of selections from their live shows that will be available only at these shows (album art featured above).

Known for their original material as well as inspired arrangements of artists from Radiohead to Jay-Z, the Portland Cello Project continue to expand on how and where cello music is heard. The group is currently working on original material for the follow-up to Homage, their recent tribute to hip-hop composers. Their new studio recording of Beck Hansen’s Song Reader was recorded on the heels of three sold-out nights performing Song Reader live in Oregon performed just days after the sheet music-only album was released. PCP recorded all 20 tracks in a matter of days and brought in numerous special guests, including Jolie Holland, Adam Shearer and many others. PCP present these songs as a digital-only release available on iTunes titledPortland Cello Project Play Beck Hansen’s Song Reader.
 
Please contact me for press or interview requests, or to be serviced with a download for Portland Cello Project Play Beck Hansen’s Song Reader.

PCP perform Brubeck’s “Take 5” live here
Stream the entire album, Portland Cello Project Play Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, here  (CDs and album DLs available on request.)
high-res photos: http://portlandcelloproject.com/highres

  

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT FEATURING LAURA GIBSON: 

SA 6/22          Garden City, ID - Visual Arts Collective

SU 6/23          Salt Lake City, UT - Utah Arts Festival

TU 6/25          Boulder, CO - eTown Hall 

TH 6/27          Davenport, IA - Redstone Room

FR 6/28          Chicago, IL - The Hideout          

SA 6/29          Minneapolis, MN - The Cedar Cultural Center

MO 7/01         Bozeman, MT - The Filling Station

FR 7/12          Portland, OR - Doug Fir DANCE PARTY MADNESS

SA 7/13          Portland, OR - Doug Fir DANCE PARTY MADNESS

WE 8/14         Seattle, WA - Two Union Square

TH 8/15          Bellingham, WA - The Wild Buffalo

The Parson Red Heads announce new EP and June tour dates with Said the Whale and Desert Noises

Premiere their new video for the track "Times" here 
 

”.. full-bodied multi-part harmonies over shimmering folk-rock guitar riffs, animating hooky, contemplative songs.”  - (9/10) Uncut Magazine 
 
The Parson Red Heads have announced they’ll be releasing a digital/ limited edition CD EP in June to coincide with their West Coast tour with Said the Whale and Desert Noises (scroll down for dates).  The EP, titled “6,” will be available digitally on iTunes on June 4, 2013, and a limited pressing of 300 CDs will be available for sale on tour. The Red Heads are premiering a video from the EP, “Times” which can be viewed here. The video was shot in the studio during the band’s recent recording sessions with Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., Minus 5, Baseball Project) and features the group’s trademark harmonies and ’70s folk rock sound (Fleetwood Mac, Big Star). The Portland-via-L.A. quartet is currently finishing up a new studio album for a late fall 2013 release; stay tuned for details.

"Times" embed code (bloggers feel free to share)  <iframe width=”560” height=”315” src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/CBem13arAEg” frameborder=”0” allowfullscreen></iframe>

"This song was the first song we recorded in our sessions at Type Foundry with Scott McCaughey," says Evan Way of the Red Heads. “We had such a great time making this song come to life in the studio, adding elements, taking elements away, just trying to create a really specific and memorable atmosphere to the song. It was one that sort of wrote itself, coming together all in one night, and is maybe one of my favorite songs we’ve ever recorded. “

Way
calls a “bite-sized glimpse at our musical progression over the past year or so.” The six cuts include four songs from the recording sessions with Scott McCaughey at Type Foundry Studios ("Kelly Blair Bauman", "Christine", "Times", and "Crying Days Are Over"), one song from a recording session with Danny O’Hanlon at Bungalow 9 Studios ("The Moon is In Your Eyes"), and one song from a self-produced recording session done all on 4-track cassette in their garage rehearsal space ("Wedding in the Round"). There’s also a minute-long ambient piece ("Red Quilt") recorded for the Red Heads by their friends in the band Norman.

 ”It’s a good view of our eclectic taste and approach to songs of different styles, a view of our palette ranging from instrumental jams, to Everly Brothers and Beatles pop, to mellow and atmospheric experimentations. And everything in between,” says Way.   

The Parson Red Heads will join kindred spirits the Beachwood Sparks for a hometown show on Saturday, May 25 at the Doug Fir then kick off their June tour in Seattle on Sunday, June 2 at the Tractor Tavern. The band’s married couple, redheads Brett and Evan Marie Way, will be bringing along the band’s most recent addition, newborn son George Harrison Stanley Way. 
   

TOUR DATES:
 
SA 5/26    Portland, OR - Doug Fir  w/ Beachwood Sparks
SU 6/02    Seattle WA - Tractor Tavern (w/ Desert Noises)
DESERT NOISES / PARSON RED HEADS / SAID THE WHALE on tour:
TU 6/04    Portland OR - Doug Fir (6 EP record release party)
TH 6/06    Eugene OR - Sam Bonds
FR 6/07    Davis CA - Sophia’s Thai Kitchen
SA 6/08    Merced, CA - The Partisan
SU 6/09    San Francisco CA - Brick and Mortar
TU 6/11    Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
WE 6/12   San Diego CA - Casbah
TH 6/13    Los Angeles CA - Bootleg Bar
FR 6/14    Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar
SA 6/15    Scottsdale, AZ - Pub Rock Live
SU 6/16    Ventura, CA - Zoey’s
MO 6/17   Felton, CA  - Don Quixote Music Hall
TU 6/18    Chico, CA - Cafe Coda


THE MOTHER HIPS TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM

SF “California Soul” legends celebrate their 20th Anniversary 
New studio album, Behind Beyond, out July 9, 2013 

Listen to a new track, “Freed From a Prison,” here 
Outside Lands Festival and California dates announced 

"California isn’t just a state, it’s a psychic idea … the end of the frontier. It’s not just a place; it’s a style and a state of mind."  - Tim Bluhm / The Mother Hips 



May 14, 2013:  With the release of their eighth studio album, Behind Beyond, via their own imprint label on July 9, 2013;  Northern California’s the Mother Hips will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band. This album follows their 2009 studio release, Pacific Dust, and a four-disc retrospective compilation, Days of Sun and Grass, both of which garnered critical praise from outlets including The New Yorker,  Mojo, Relix, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and cemented the band’s reputation as creators of “California Soul.” Co-founded by principal songwriter/lead vocalist Tim Bluhm and guitarist/vocalist Greg Loiacono, the Mother Hips has spawned its own community and even its own rock festival, Hipnic.  Held at Big Sur, Hipnic is now in its fifth year and has featured like-minded California bands including Cass McCombs, Jackie Greene, Al Jardine, Neal Casal, Dawes and others.

It’s been a long, winding journey since their 1993 debut on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, Back to the Grotto, through to the present day, which finds them in full charge of their own careers. Through it all, the Mother Hips are self-sustaining and, 20 years in, continue to operate as a cottage industry. The band also has its own beer and its own wine.

Behind Beyond, recorded over the past year at Mission Bells Studio in San Francisco with co-producer Dave Simon-Baker, finds Bluhm wading cautiously into midlife, exploring thoughts of mortality as if it were a hazy dream. Loiacono, the man behind the many instrumental passages that weave through the album, says that this album “stretches out a lot more than any of our other records.”  There’s a sense of ease with these songs, from the laid-back feel of "Isle Not of Man" to the psychedelic guitar interplay of "Jefferson Army."

Bluhm is the tall, rugged, frontman that pulls the listener in while Loiacono is the compact, explosive guitar ace that drives the music. But it’s their partnership — the unique, almost brotherly way they sing and play together — that defines the band.

When asked what makes this album special, the two bandleaders come at it from a different angle. Loiacono references the second track, "Freed From A Prison," a song he wrote but that Bluhm sings, citing the ability to let go of the song that made it work. “That song is about the concept of being freed from a prison you didn’t even know you were in,” he says. “It’s this idea of finally opening up to an experience that was there for you the whole time. To me, a lot of this album is like that.”

Bluhm says that making the music meaningful — going beyond just having a solid, well-played tune — is the most important thing for him. “It’s about making creative choices that are unconventional but that are still appealing that hopefully can reach the listener in a way they didn’t expect and affect parts of their heart and mind they didn’t expect to be affected by rock music, he says. I’m trying to make music that has a spiritual aspect where it’s more than just a good song and more than just a rocking band or a commodity, an emotional experience that you might not even know is happening because it’s surrounded by a loud rock band.”

It all started in 1990 at California State University in Chico when Bluhm and Loaicano found themselves living in the same house, teaching each other guitar chords and experimenting with harmony. They didn’t realize it but they were laying the foundation for a sound, a style and a partnership that would last their entire lives.  The Hips were signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings while still in college and released their debut in 1993, followed by 1995’s Part Timer Goes Full and 1996’s Shootout. The band found themselves swept up into the life of major label touring, along with the heavy partying and relentless grind that has destroyed countless bands. Little promotion from the label found the Hips self-releasing 1998’s Later Days and regrouping as a band.

Since then, they’ve gone on to release independent studio albums (Green Hills of Earth, Kiss The Crystal Flake, and Pacific Dust) and have cultivated one of the most rabid and loyal fan bases in rock today. Focusing on quality rather than quantity, the Hips returned from a four-year hiatus (2001 - 2005) to find that they were more popular than ever. The core line-up of the band has remained stable since 2004, Bluhm, Loiaconco and drummer John Hofer. In 2011, Paul Hoaglin left the band and Frank Zappa and Fear bassist Scott Thunes joined the Hips. These days, the Mother Hips have changed their approach to touring, playing 80 shows a year rather than hundreds, concentrating on well-defined tour markets rather than staying out for long hauls. 

Today the Hips are free; they make their own schedule, recording and touring when it feels right. They’re a successful independent business as well, having built up a loyal following and community for their sound and gaining the respect of their peers and critics along the way.  Bluhm coined the term "California Soul" back in 1998 with the song "Gold Plated" when he sang: “There’s some boys I know/ who play that rock & roll / they’ve slept on a lot of floors / to get that California Soul.”  Flash forward nearly two decades. The term has stuck and they’re proud of the monicker.

"California isn’t just a state," explains Bluhm. "It’s a psychic idea … the end of the frontier. It’s not just a place; it’s a style and a state of mind."

The same thing can be said about the Mother Hips.

"Freed From a Prison" embed code: <iframe width=”100%” height=”166” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”no” src=”https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F91991408”></iframe> 

Tour Dates:
Jun 28    San Francisco, CA - The Independent   
Jun 29    San Francisco, CA  - The Independent   
Aug 11    San Francisco, CA  - Outside Lands Festival, Golden Gate Park  
*US tour dates to be announced soon