Out on the road it’s the same as before, it’s like selling poetry door-to-door,” croons Tim Bluhm on “Sorta Surviving.” It’s soft-hearted outlaw country ala Blaze Foley. After it travels from your ear to deep inside your soul with ease, you hanker for more.
The record, Sorta Surviving, hitting the streets on March 29, marks the Mother Hips frontman’s first solo album in nearly eight years. Along with some of Nashville’s finest session musicians and Bluhm (vocals and acoustic guitar), the record boasts Jason Crosby (piano, fiddle and pedal steel) and Hard Working Americans’ Jesse Aycock (guitar and vocals).
The aforementioned title track has quickly taken flight as one of Bluhm’s most resonant tunes on the record.
“It seems to translate well to lots of different situations,” he says. “I like songs that I can play by myself, with just my guitar, or I can play with a band after being able to teach to people relatively quickly – it sounds good after people have just learned it.”
Bluhm is settling in in Springdale, Utah, before he performs with the Mother Hips that evening surrounded by Zion Canyon’s majestic snow-capped red rocks. The band also played a sold-out Salt Lake City show the next night followed by a stop in Park City.
Bluhm reflects on the slew of solo shows he has performed throughout the last year.
“I love to play solo because I know it will sound good,” he says. “I’m not going to mess anything up; even if I do, it’s one person so it won’t really matter. I can turn on a dime and stop in the middle of a song to tell a story or play a song that no one has ever heard before and I don’t have to worry about other people knowing it.”
But Bluhm equally adores performing with others, as proven with the multiple decades the Mother Hips have been at it.
“That’s one of the magical parts of music,” he says. “When people can all play well together and it creates a singular sound from multiple sources – [with the Hips] it’s organic and the result of playing so many thousands of shows together.”