The Mother Hips back onstage on ‘Mountain Time’

The Mother Hips first indoor show in 15 months is an epic 3.5-hour gem in the Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room on April 30, 2020.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

The Mother Hips know how to shake things up.

After three decades onstage and 11 albums, this is not a surprise. But after 15 months away due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s wonderful to feel the good vibrations.

The Bay Area-based quintet played two sold-out shows in the Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room over the weekend. The opening night was a 3.5 hour groove session.

Guitarist Greg Loiacono said the band puts together its set list on the spot; mind-boggling considering the 31 songs performed Friday seamlessly melded.

Before a social distanced yet carefree audience of 150, the Hips opened with its life story, “Gold Plated.”

“There’s some boys I know
Who play that rock and roll
They’ve slept on a lot of floors
To get that California Soul
They’ve got that California Soul”

In an instant, all in attendance were on their feet, swaying to the familiar, comfortable sounds. No one sat for the next 45 minutes, and the five musicians glowed in the venue’s brand new spotlights.

Keyboardist Danny Eisenberg dug into a solo and straightened his left leg as if he was speeding on a highway and suddenly approach gridlock and had to hit the brake pedal. But there was no stopping this jam. The energy built throughout the night.

Tim Bluhm and his mates didn’t address the crowd much. They let the music do the talking.

Bluhm and Loiacono are founding members of the group that began at the Chico State campus. Their interaction with dual lead guitars, vocals and harmonies are what makes this band unique and so appealing to fans of rock, jam and hippies everywhere. The stories and scenes woven into melodies often ending in visceral hoots and hollers are downright poetic.

In honor of the band’s 30 years, Blue Rose Records is re-issuing – for the first time on vinyl — a Mother Hips record every month. At the end of the year, a new studio album that was recorded during the lockdown will be released.

But there’s nothing like experiencing The Mother Hips in concert. For a few blissful hours at Lake Tahoe, everything felt good and normal as it used to be.

-Tim Parsons with contributions from Marcia Schultz and Clare Foster.

  • The Mother Hips
    April 30, 2021
    Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
  • Set 1
    Gold Plated
    Clean Me Up
    Single Spoon
    Later Days
    K.C. Southern
    It’ll Be Gone
    2YQ
    Strings
    Stunt Double
    Desert Song
    1 Way Out
    Toughie
    Working Man
    Delmar Station
    Mother Hips
  • Set 2
    Esmerelda
    3rd Floor Story
    Such A Thing
    Tired Wings
    Freed From A Prison
    Whiskey On A S.B.
    Mona Lisa
    Grizzly Bear
    Transit Wind
    Poison Oak
    Gone, Gone, Gone
    Best Friend In Town
    Mountain Time
    Turtle Bones
  • Encore
    White Falcon Buzz
    Stoned Up The Road
Tim Bluhm dons a Stony Brook T-shirt onstage in Tahoe.
Bassist Brian Rashap is the newest member of The Mother Hips.
Greg Liacono slides in with a Telecaster.
Sticky John Hofer shares a laugh with Tim Bluhm.
Danny Eisenberg eyes the groove.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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