Tim Bluhm has earned a reputation as the quintessential
California musician. Born and raised in the Golden State,
as the singer/guitarist and primary songwriter of rock band
The Mother Hips, Bluhm has spent the last two decades performing,
writing, collaborating on, and producing music.
California is a constant source of inspiration for Bluhm,
and like the wildly diverse state, his influences are sprawling,
beautiful and multifarious. Bluhm’s music, as an acclaimed
solo artist as well as with the Hips, his duo project Skinny
Singers with Jackie Greene, fronting The Rhythm Devils (featuring
The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann),
Ball-Point Birds (duo with Hips co-founder Greg Loiacono),
and in his wife’s band Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers,
is a timeless mix of classic rock, Americana, California
country, folk, psychedelic blues, and power-pop. Though varied
and ambitious, Bluhm never sounds disjointed, his work always
tied together by impeccable songwriting.
Bluhm grew up listening to eight-track tapes of Leon Russell,
Jim Croce, Anne Murray, and The Beach Boys. He got his first
taste of singing in the church choir and it was Neil Young’s Everybody
Knows This Is Nowhere that inspired him to pick
up a guitar. Captivated at an early age, Bluhm has always
been connected to music’s spiritual capacity. “The
transformative power of music is really the best part” he
says, “and it’s why so many of us are obsessed
Although The Mother Hips were courted by major labels and
signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings while still
in college, they’ve yet to receive the riches of rock
stardom. Instead Tim Bluhm settled into a prolific, slow-burning
career adored by many yet virtually unknown in the mainstream.
Along the way Bluhm has shared the stage with such luminaries
as Johnny Cash, Wilco, The Black Crowes, Widespread Panic,
Lucinda Williams, M. Ward, Cracker, John Hiatt, and Phil
Lesh to name a few.
While The Mother Hips were constantly touring up and down
California’s coast, Bluhm became infatuated with surfing.
In 1997 he purchased a Toyota pick-up with a camper shell
and began drifting from town to town, spending his days in
the water and crashing in the truck. Standing at 6 feet 5
inches the Toyota wasn’t the most comfortable accommodations
and was soon replaced by a legendary van that Bluhm called
home until 2003.
2006 offered Bluhm, Bay Area musician Jackie Greene, and
engineer Dave Simon-Baker the opportunity to open Mission
Bells Studio where Bluhm has produced albums for the Hips,
Jackie Greene, Hot Buttered Rum, Dave Brogan, Little Wings,
and the studio has hosted Phil Lesh, Los Lobos, Rogue Wave,
Jonathan Richman, Josh Ritter, and ALO.
In 2005 Bluhm teamed up with San Diego-based singer/songwriter/guitarist
Steve Poltz and combined his love of the outdoors with his
passion for music with The High Sierra Singer/Songwriter
Workshop. The unique four day backcountry experience offers
attendees the opportunity to write songs and learn from two
of California’s most renowned songwriters in one of
the country’s most amazing locations.
Bluhm and his bandmates further blurred the lines between
Mother Nature and music by launching The Mother Hips Family
Hipnic in 2009. A two day festival set in gorgeous Big Sur,
CA hosted by the Hips, “it’s everything I like
about music festivals” says Bluhm; “great acts,
pristine surroundings and no crowds.” 2010 was an even
greater success and all signs point to an annual outing where
fans will continue to flock.
When not touring the world in a rock band, producing albums,
surfing, skiing, camping and hiking, Tim Bluhm lives with
his wife Nicki in their San Francisco home.
The Mother Hips - Back to the Grotto (American) 1992
The Mother Hips - Part-Timer Goes Full (American) 1995
The Mother Hips - Shootout (American) 1996
The Mother Hips - Later Days (Mother Hips) 1998
Tim Bluhm - Land & Sea Chanteys (Hufa Records) 1999
The Mother Hips - Green Hills of Earth (Future Farmer) 2001
Ball-Point Birds – Ball-Point Birds (Big Sur Poncen
The Sheets – The Sheets EP (Little Sur/Pacealot) 2003
Tim Bluhm - The Soft Adventure EP / Colts (California Recordings)
Tim Bluhm – California Way (Fog City Records) 2005
The Mother Hips – Red Tandy (Camera Records) 2005
Ball-Point Birds – Two Discover (Little Sur Poncen
The Mother Hips – Kiss The Crystal Flake (Camera Records)
Skinny Singers - Skinny Singers Strike Again! (Skinny Singers
Tim Bluhm – House of Bluhm (Big Sur Recordings) 2008
The Mother Hips – Pacific Dust (Camera Records) 2009