Songwriters And Radios Go 'Round


STILL ALIVE IN THE 805: Ah, the unexpected — what else can we expect? Life deals the unforeseen in stupefyingly heavy doses, often offering us only the great unknown as a blueprint for facing the days ahead. When SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) hosts its second 805 Songwriters in the Round on Friday, November 10, the songwriters at hand — Johnny IrionJohn Goodwin, and Tim Bluhm — will pass the microphone-baton as they play off one another’s off-the-cuff and impromptu choices. “You have to sort of come with a little bit of flexibility; you want to play something that complements the song just before, and you have no control of what that would be,” said Bluhm, an honorary 805er who hails from Bay Area digits but has spent years living, visiting, and/or surfing in this code of ours.

Bluhm himself recently responded to something very unexpected, when he was almost killed in a paragliding accident in 2015. “It stirred up my songwriting — it stirred up my life,” he said. As silver linings go, it’s been a rich time for his “inner life” and his music: He’s written lots of new work. With his band The Mother Hips triumphantly returning for their beloved holiday shows, the dark veil of injury may finally be lifting, and a rebirth is in bloom.

Goodwin also recounted of a string of tragic hills and hurdles how he himself would “work and walk through them, one step at a time,” all part of the journey for a prolific area songsmith and visual artist who has worked with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Michael McDonald. “All my life, I’ve been kind of like a nomad, moving from song to song,” said Goodwin, and “I may be getting close now to what I was trying to do as a songwriter. It literally took a lifetime to get to that point. All good. There were a lot of laughs on the way,” he said. Journey along with them next week.

LOCAL COLOR: Speaking of SOhO and area codes, the venerable venue hosts some of our region’s very best acts in the more immediate coming days. First off, on this month’s 1st Thursday, we have excellent indie rockers Jacob Cole & the EchoesJamey Geston, and Emily Wryn, all of whom give our Santa Barbara music scene a certain spark of coastal brilliance, luminous as sun speckles in the surf. They join South Carolina songwriter Sarah Summer on Thursday, November 2, maintaining their reign as some of the best contemporary acts to represent our county in the last few years.

On a comparable wavelength of quality and cool, the lads from S.B.’s Young Million and Made Up People will shake things up with Ventura’s Wild Coast in another night of 805 rock awesomeness the next night at SOhO, Friday, November 3. Rock is alive and well in the 805.

RADIO, RADIO: L.A.’s Julia Holter and San Dimas’s Birote the Musical will play a free concert at UCSB’s KCSB Courtyard on Saturday, November 4. If you’ve never heard Holter’s heady and heavenly chamber pop, get on it, stat — it’s beautiful stuff, truly amazing at times. The two visit as the climactic event for the UC Radio Network Conference, hosted by UCSB for the first time in years.

FAREWELL, FUNZONE: Alas, all things must end, and it is with sadness that I report Funzone has closed its DIY doors. Founder Spencer VH said an unexpected twist in his life’s course prompted the closing of the much-loved, much-needed all-ages venue in the East Beach Batting Cages, which quietly hosted some of the best S.B. concerts of the last three years. As Spencer heads east to new opportunity, I thank and salute one so generous to host the under-sung, underappreciated, and underage; here’s to new chapters, new beginnings, and new fun.

Blue Rose Music Signs Singer/Songwriter Tim Bluhm From Hospital Bed

BLUE ROSE MUSIC founder JOE POLETTO announced the signing of singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist TIM BLUHM to its NORTHERN CALIFORNIA-based artist collective. BLUHM’s signing comes on the heels of a near-death paragliding accident; POLETTO brought an offer to him that would help him get back on his feet while providing a creative outlet for the future.

BLUHM began his 25+ year musical career as the frontman, guitarist and primary songwriter for THE MOTHER HIPS, a group he co-founded in the early '90s and with whom he continues to tour and record with. In addition, BLUHM was part of the duo THE SKINNY SISTERS (with current BLUE ROSE MUSIC label mate JACKIE GREENE) a member of the RHYTHM DEVILS (featuring the GRATEFUL DEAD’s MICKEY HART and BILL KREUTZMANN), BALL-POINT BIRDS (with HIPS co-founder GREG LOIACONO) and NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS.


“I have always been a huge TIM BLUHM fan and wanted to sign him to BLUE ROSE MUSIC because of his extraordinary creative talent and his dedication to his art," JOE POLETTO said. "The fact that he has survived this recent life-threatening event has made him even more creatively motivated and I hope that this agreement will help aid and support his music as well as the personal aspects of his life. BLUE ROSE MUSIC was created with the intention of nurturing and enabling artists to reach their creative and financial goals while supporting each other in their craft and I am both excited and grateful to be able to support TIM in this new chapter of his music and life.”

“Getting injured and being out of commission like I have been has given me the rare opportunity to look at my life and my goals more objectively," BLUHM said. "I feel that JOE and BLUE ROSE MUSIC will be enormously helpful in helping me achieve those goals as well to connect me to an amazing community of like-minded people.”

Keller Williams Releases New EP To Help Fundraise For Tim Bluhm’s Medical Expenses

Keller Williams has surprised fans everywhere with the release of a brand new EP! Titled Bluhm, Williams has shared new music in hopes of raising money for his dear friend Tim Bluhm. Bluhm has been recovering from a paragliding accident, and his medical bills continue to pile up. Thus, Williams decided to take matters into his own hands, and recruited a number of talented musicians in the process, including Jackie Greene, Reed Mathis, Jason Crosby, Larry Keel and Kenny Keel.

You can find the album here, and read Keller Williams’ statement below.

Tim Bluhm, to me, is the epitome of a west coast songwriter. His solo records, and those with The Mother Hips, just reek of California. As a Virginian, I always would dream of the promised land of Pacific time. Tim’s songs have always conjured images of that beautiful section of the country and have fed my longing to be there. Last year, while paragliding his speed wing, upon landing, he snapped his leg in half at the ankle. But he didn’t die. Oh no. Through the pain and the surgeries and the traction, he still pushes on, recording music and playing shows. Obviously, the medical bills are massive. I look at it as a perfect excuse to record five of my favorite Tim Bluhm songs for download, with all the proceeds going to help him get back on his foot. I’m joined by Jackie Greene, Reed Mathis, Jason Crosby as well as Larry Keel and Jenny Keel. Like most covers I play, I take great liberties with this music. Due to my love for these songs, this project was incredibly easy and came together in just a few weeks. Please enjoy while we help to get Tim stompin’ again. Kw

Get well soon Tim!