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The Mother Hips

Sunday, November 3, 2019, 4:00 AM

with GospelbeacH
Twenty-five years into a celebrated career is an unlikely time to switch things up, but The Mother Hips have never been ones to follow convention. For their brilliant and exhilarating new release, Chorus, the California stalwarts turned their recording process on its head, laying down elaborate studio demos to serve as a detailed roadmap for the album a full year before official recording sessions began. It was a step that offered both the time and the space to fully realize their music like never before, and the result is the most refined and cohesive album in The Mother Hipscatalog, one that marks the beginning of what promises to be their most creative and prolific chapter yet.We never did a lot of pre-production on our previous records, says drummer John Hofer. We had a system where wed start recording and lock in the arrangements as we went, which was a fun way to work because you never knew how the songs were going to turn out.That spontaneity has always suited The Mother Hips, a band whose lofty reputation was built on the back of their spellbinding live shows, but by pushing themselves to work in a completely new way on Chorus, they unlocked a slew of artistic rewards.Starting with these really fleshed out studio demos was exciting because it meant we could listen back months later with fresh ears, says singer/guitarist/songwriter Tim Bluhm. We could realize that a song might be more effective if we played it a little faster or sang it a little higher. It was like having a second chance to get everything just right.Bluhm co-founded The Mother Hips along with fellow guitarist/singer/songwriter Greg Loiacono while both were studying at Chico State in the early 90s. Performing at frat parties quickly gave way to club shows, regional touring, and national buzz, and before theyd graduated from school, the band was signed to Rick Rubins American Recordings on the strength of their debut album, Back To The Grotto. Over the ensuing two-and-a-half decades, they would go on to release eight more studio albums as they cemented their status as architects of a new breed of California rock and roll, one equally informed by the breezy harmonies of the Beach Boys, the funky roots of The Band, the psychedelic Americana of the Grateful Dead, and the soulful twang of The Byrds. Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Bay Areas most beloved live outfits, their headline and festival performances became the stuff of legend and helped them earn dates with everyone from Johnny Cash and Wilco to Lucinda Williams and The Black Crowes. Rolling Stone called the band divinely inspired, while Pitchfork praised their rootsy mix of 70s rock and power pop, and The New Yorker lauded their ability to sing it sweet and play it dirty.Its been five years since the bands last studio release of new material, though, and its been a tumultuous time on multiple fronts to say the least. Members grappled with immense changes in their personal lives and pursued a variety of outside and solo projects. Bluhm nearly died in a speed flying accident when he slammed into a pile of felled trees at roughly 35 miles-per-hour, and his path to healing was an arduous and daunting one. For the band, the ability to revisit the songs theyd been writing and demoing during such turbulent times with the distance and perspective that comes from a year of personal growth and recovery proved to be invaluable.When we actually started recording these songs for the album, there was this whole new level of energy and inspiration and excitement to it, reflects Loiacono. There was such a positive vibe in the studio, and the emotions and the performances we captured were so much more fully realized because of it.The band is quick to credit part of that excitement to their new partnership with Blue Rose Music, whose support enabled the band to team up with acclaimed producer Karl Derfler (Tom Waits, Roky Erickson) and enter the studio in Oakland without the

Cost: $28 // $32
Tickets: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=253529&b=234786&m=27601&afftrack=&urllink=www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mother-hips-pappy-harriets-pioneertown-november-2-2019-tickets-65181015171

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53688 Pioneertown Road
Pioneertown, CA 92268

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