The Mother Hips have been around for awhile and have a very distinct, loyal following. Yet, one thing they have never had is enough press coverage to get the word out about how truly great they are. Their first album Back to the Grotto was experimental and raw. It was the Mother Hips trying to find their voice. It was Tim Bluhm just discovering what power his voice has. However, it didn’t get a very wide release the first time around and when they signed to American it wasn’t pushed, due to the fact a new record was coming out right on top of it.
With hints of the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Allman Brothers there is a certain feel the Mother Hips emit when you hear the dulcet tones of their guitars, the gentle rapping of the drum in songs like “Chum” and the pounding in songs like “Back to the Grotto”. This is a band that knew they were on the precipice of greatness. They were going against the grain in 1992 and showed how far ahead of their time they were by going backwards in time. When bands today think they’re being original they need only look to the debut of the Mother Hips and realize that it’s been done before. The sound that would become oh so popular in the ’90’s and later take off in the ’00’s is exemplified here in the Mother Hips debut. My personal favorite track is “Stephanie’s for L.A.”, it has such a melodic, earthy feel to it that I want to get real high, dress in my finest hippie attire and run around with a ribbon on a stick in circles at Delores Park. For being from 1992, when Nirvana and grunge were at the peak of their powers this album is remarkably brilliant. It would fit in perfect today.
Through all of this they have persevered and their fans have been there with them from day one. On June 15th this epic band will be getting together at the Independent in San Francisco with their closest friends, fans and hipsters to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Back to the Grotto” by playing it in its entirety in the first set. Consequentially, as a thank you to those many fans they are offering said first album “Back to the Grotto” for free digital download until June 2nd. Head over to their website at get it while you can. In the meantime check out this video from ’92 of them performing “Stephanie’s for L.A.”.