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
Clean Me Up
It’ll Be Gone
1 Way Out
- Set 2
3rd Floor Story
Such A Thing
Freed From A Prison
Whiskey On A S.B.
Gone, Gone, Gone
Best Friend In Town
White Falcon Buzz
Stoned Up The Road