California Way, Shiny Leather Shoes, Angry Waters, Rose, Tear It All Down, Transplant Song, Saint Andrew, Hell Is The Highway, Tiara Dievers, Countrywide, Envelope Please, Ribbons, The Way The Story Goes
California Way (Real Audio)
* THIS ENHANCED CD ALSO INCLUDES BONUS VIDEOS FILMED IN STUDIO, IN CONCERT AND BACKSTAGE
Official street date is Jan 25, 2005
Fog City Records is proud to announce the debut solo acoustic release from Mother Hips front man Tim Bluhm
For the past five years, singer Tim Bluhm (having released eight albums and played up upward of 2000 concerts) has lived in a '95 Chevy Sportsvan. Far from the camera-clicking life of a rock star, he has drifted up and down the Golden State, skiing off of Mount Shasta, free-soloing Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne Meadows, telemark-traversing the Sierras, and surfing the cold Northern California coast. He wanders for days deep in the Grand Canyon and has spent months chasing waves in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Fiji, and New Zealand. This summer he broke a 14-year touring streak and worked as a climbing guide in Yosemite.
As frontman for the band Mother Hips, Bluhm (rhymes with room) pitched his tent on a plot of California's imagination and has been singing into the roar of the bulldozers ever since. But with a bittersweet yearning for the days of banditos and gold miners, and with a kinship with California's long-gone official state animal, this self-proclaimed "time-sick son of a grizzly bear" has sometimes gone unheard. Despite its fanatical West Coast following, the Mother Hips has never had a hit single, made a video, or got their picture in Rolling Stone.
So with Mother Hips now on intermittent hiatus, Bluhm might well have followed the vagabond footsteps of Everett Ruess and disappeared for good into the wilderness. Instead, 2004 has brought overdue recognition. In February, lines formed around the block in San Francisco for the premiere of "Stories We Could Tell," a feature-length documentary about the band. And this month, Bluhm releases the most stripped-down (and pure) recordings of his career. Backed only by his guitar, Bluhm recorded "California Way" in two days.
Producer Dan Prothero happened upon the session knowing little about Bluhm, and by day's end had decided to release the disc on his own Fog City Records, won over by the haunting collection of songs that he calls a "love-letter from and about a disappearing place."
As for the prospects of getting rich in the music business and ending his itinerant ways, Bluhm is skeptical. When I reached him by cell phone he was on some highway in the Sierras, and he stopped on the shoulder to get better reception. He told me that if he had hit the jackpot ten years ago he "probably would have just spent it all." And if there's a payoff in the future? "I'd buy a better van," Bluhm predicted. "Or at least get my brakes fixed."
Mark Sundeen, Outside Magazine