with The Easy Leaves opening
The Center for the Arts presents
Saturday, March 2, 8:00PM
$20 members, $22 non-member
DANCE CONCERT – Limited Theater Seating
The Mother Hips are divinely inspired by the four great (North) American Bs: The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Band and The Beach Boys – Rolling Stone
Hailed by critics for their “rootsy mix of 70s rock and power pop” (pitchfork.com) and for their unflinching ability to “sing it sweet and play it dirty” (The New Yorker), The Mother Hips are true indie music pioneers. They owe most of their success to their large and loyal fanbase. Early releases such as Part-Timer Goes Full, Green Hills of Earth, and Red Tandy have become almost cult classics among indie music buffs.
The band released a 20 year retrospective in 2011 while offering proof on the road that The Hips still attract new supporters in every city they play. Over the years, the band has worked with and played alongside a slew of renowned/respected colleagues including Wilco, Johnny Cash, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, as well as being signed by Rick Rubin to his American Recordings Label.
The Hips – led by co-founders Tim Bluhm (vocals/guitar) and Greg Loiacono (guitar/vocals) – have been playing music for 20 years and have never been more primed to share their well-traveled tales – the long days and nights on the road, the gritty politics, the smart inward reflections and the music, all delivered with a most appealing balance of Americana storytelling and their California-burnished rock.
Formed in Chico, CA, in 1991, the Mother Hips moved up from bar band status through a series of regional tours and built a sizable fan base in California. Songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Tim Bluhm, guitarist Greg Loiacono, bassist Isaac Parsons, and drummer Mike Wofchuck met in the dorms of Chico State in the early ’90s. Loiacono and Bluhm’s harmonies and country-tinged melodies honored California’s musical past from Merle Haggard to the Beach Boys to Neil Young.
Their 1992 album, entitled Back to the Grotto, caught the ear of American Recordings, which released 1995’s Part-Timer Goes Full and 1996’s Shootout. This relationship led to high-profile slots on tours with Johnny Cash, Wilco, and the H.O.R.D.E. tour. Drummer Wofchuck was replaced by John Hofer for 1998’s country-rock Later Days. Three years later, the band released the more pop-oriented Green Hills of Earth. In 2005, Bluhm, Loiacono, Hofer, and new bassist Paul Hoaglin resumed playing music and released the Red Tandy EP on Camera Records in 2006 and followed it up with the full-length Kiss the Crystal Flake in early 2007.
The Easy Leaves, songwriters Kevin Carducci and Sage Fifield, formed north of the Golden Gate in 2008 immersed in a diverse set of flailing rockers, gospel skeptics, and country outlaws. Their initial intent was to establish an old-time string band. However, this did not happen (at all).
In love with just too many different musics, artists as disparate as Bob Wills and Smokey Robinson slinking into their songwriting, Kevin and Sage gave up their banjo habits cold-turkey. The Easy Leaves’ sound was born – A modern acoustic sound, its roots kept close to the chest while tirelessly sprawling out in new directions that stretch the borders of the Americana genre in exciting ways.
“Our sound is a personal distillation of American music, based on the styles we connect with and all the songs and sounds we’ve been saturated with.” The finest filters on this still are songs written with painstaking attention to detail and dynamic intricate vocal harmonies. They’re melodic, lyric-driven (catchy-as-all-hell) compositions pinned with the syncopated rhythm of two acoustic instruments, guitar and upright bass. A trap kit, and pedal steel – The whipped cream and cherry.