While Tim Bluhm may be getting more nationwide face time lately as one of his wife Nicki Bluhm’s Gramblers, thanks to that band’s constant touring schedule and sensational YouTube Van Sessions performances, in The Mother Hips he is still a rock star front man without equal. Trademarked as “California Soul,” the band’s slick songs about beaches, frustration, social awkwardness and the act of songwriting itself, served up with double guitar licks, driving backbeat and falsetto shouts, are pure pleasure – hard rocking and soothing in turns and entirely catchy. A Hips tune can get lodged in your brain instantly and stay there for days, all from just a lick or line from Tim or co-founder Greg Loiacono.
[Photo via The Mother Hips' Facebook Page]
So this week’s Stormy Monday is a mix of live material mostly from recent years. The opening sequence comes from the tail end of a show late last year (a especially fat, dense recording at that): a kicking Been Lost Once > Rich Little Girl, followed by Can’t Sleep at All > the Beatles-esque Singing Seems to Ease Me > Can’t Sleep at All. From early in 2011 we also have a big dose of more psychedelic Hips with a long take on Third Floor Story > Magazine, the pairing stretching well over 15 minutes. Another side of the band’s long-form approach is represented by the in and out, switch it up turns and twists of Chum, and to finish things out there’s a rockin’ version of Stoned On Up The Road. It’s about an hour’s worth of some truly great music from a truly great band. Make sure you check it out, especially if you’re not yet familiar with Mother Hips – you’ll be happy you did.