At this point Lost Sierra Hoedown is far more than a music gathering, it is a four-day tornado of mountains, music, fellowship with friends that have become family, and reaffirmation. There was something different this year, there was a deeper sense of connection in that ephemeral community that nearly everyone felt. This seventh year, held September 19 – 22 at the Johnsville Ski Bowl in Johnsville, CA, there was a sense of permanence now that maybe just has not been felt before. Perhaps it was that or just the consistently met expectations we experience year in and year out and know that they will be fulfilled beyond capacity before the weekend even starts. Whatever it was, it resonated.
The Petaluma Music Festival in Northern California's Sonoma County is one of these events, with the 12th annual edition again tapping into the Bay Area's rich pool of talent for an appealing day out at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds on the first Saturday of August.
Joining the fight to help San Francisco's homelessness crisis are many of the city's foremost musicians banding together for the recording of a singular benefit album, Blanket The Homeless. The full-length studio album features 15 original songs (all of which have yet to be officially released by the artists; except Fantastic Negrito's "Working Poor") recorded by lauded Marin-based producer/songwriter Scott Mickelson. Blanket The Homeless includes new tracks by two-time GRAMMY Award-winning Fantastic Negrito; The Stone Foxes; Tim Bluhm (of The Mother Hips); Con Brio; Goodnight, Texas; The Brothers Comatose; Mickelson; Rainbow Girls; John Craigie; Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra; King Dream; The Coffis Brothers; Tobias The Owl; Ken Newman; and Whiskerman
Mother Hips frontman Tim Bluhm plays the Presqu'ile Winery in Santa Maria on Tuesday, Sept. 10 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $17.50 presale at Boo Boo's and ticketfly.com or $20 at the door). As the primary guitarist and singer for The Mother Hips, Bluhm's been rocking rootsy tunes on Central Coast stages for a while now.
I stood at the top and breathed deeply in and out for a long time, kicking my toe into the dust, repeatedly looking back to make sure everything was right. The air blew lightly up into my face, a sea breeze warmed by miles of flood plain and desert that now gently lifted as it met the mountain.
The Mother Hips, who performed in the 3:30 p.m. slot, before the David Nelson Band, were established back in 1991 in dorms and small clubs in Chico, California, in which Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono attended college. Twenty-eight years later, with Bluhm and Loiacono still at the helm, the five-piece offered a dynamic set of “California soul” delivered with clever lyrics highlighted by tight vocal harmonies and plenty of extended jams.
The Mother Hips founding member and frontman Tim Bluhm has released a new single, “The Only Solution”, produced by Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools.
The songs are character-driven, valuing the visceral over the cerebral, and Bluhm inhabits his narrators with a voice as tough and as pliable as worn-in leather. “It just felt natural for me to sing this way,” he explains. “It was a chance to put away the books and focus more on the everyday rather than the existential, a chance to pull out the guitar and really tell some stories.”
Tim Bluhm shared a new single. For “The Only Solution,” Bluhm enlisted the help of bassist Dave Schools as producer.