Press Kit

Bach strikes a new chord
By Stacy Trevenon
Half Moon Bay Review
January 12, 2005

To the time-honored musical institution of jazz and classical music concerts at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, add something new: contemporary folk and country music.

The style is joining, but by no means dislodging, the lineup of jazz concerts.

It all begins this Saturday evening, Jan. 15, when singer, guitarist, songwriter, vagabond and California favorite Tim Bluhm will perform at 8 p.m. at the Bach.

Bluhm is the lead singer, co-guitarist and chief songwriter of Mother Hips, which for the past decade has performed country music with elements of folk and rock, throughout California and the western United States.

Formed in 1991, the band built a following through word of mouth and nonstop touring in the American West and into the Midwest. While touring, the band played with Johnny Cash, Wilco and on the H.O.R.D.E. tour.

In early 2003, the band took a one-year hiatus, during which members turned to new projects. But in that time they still collaborated with and helped one another in their new undertakings, according to publicist Gail DeLano.

"They're all very affiliated," she said, noting many reunion shows since then.

For the past few years, Bluhm (rhymes with "room") has lived in his 1995 Chevy Sportsvan, drifting throughout California and trying his hand at skiing, surfing the Northern California coast and exploring the Grand Canyon. His yen for surfing had also taken him as far as Hawaii, Fiji and New Zealand.

California remains his favorite haunt. Describing himself as a "time-sick son of a grizzly bear," he focuses on the state and its colorful history in his songs.

His wandering did not take him away from music, as shown in the eight albums he released and hundreds of concerts in which he participated over those years.

Last summer he took his own hiatus from touring to work as a climbing guide in Yosemite. Last year, he participated in "Stories We Could Tell," a

feature-length documentary about Mother Hips which premiered in San Francisco in February.

He also continued recording, putting together "California Way" in just two days. Described by publicists as "the most stripped-down (and pure) recordings of his career," it features just himself and his guitar. He describes it as a "love letter from and about a disappearing place."

Produced on Fog City Records, the new album is not yet available in stores, but can be ordered via http://fogworld.com/shop.

Bluhm's Bach appearance came about though fellow musician Mark Kafoury, who had performed at the Bach last July 4 in the first concert that marked a departure from the pure jazz format. Kafoury suggested Bluhm as a future performer.

Bluhm is still wandering California's highways and byways. Asked by publicists what he would do if he struck it big in music, his reply was noncommittal. "I'd buy a better van," he said, "or at least get my brakes fixed."

Admission to Bluhm's Saturday concert is $20 at the door. At this concert, he will be backed by Jake Bunch on bass and Nathan Wanta on electric piano.

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