Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Aug 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Mother Hips Offer a Festival to Remember

blog_MotherWith summer on its way and the music festival circuit approaching, it’s nice to know that a relatively new one is within reach. Now in its third year, the 2011 Mother Hips Family Hipnic took place in Big Sur at Fernwood Campground on May 14 and 15. Having grown beyond the confines of the Henry Miller Library, local promoters (((folkYEAH!))), upped the ante and created a first class concert experience complete with tents, families, a festive atmosphere and Mother Hips fans stoked to have two days with their favorite band.

The opening bands on both days were a mixture of Americana roots and new California Soul with only a smattering of attendees paying attention—most were busy setting up camp, hiking the beautiful terrain and making friends with neighbors. But heads turned when Nicki Bluhm took the stage with her band, The Gramblers.

Having taken a page from Delaney & Bonnie’s shows, where family shared the stage, it’s no wonder The Gramblers feature Tim Bluhm on keys. When sharing vocal duties on songs like “Women’s Prison,” the husband/wife team conjures memories of June and Johnny Cash with their effervescent harmonies. This is not to say Nicki needs vocal accompaniment—her voice is so strong and dimensionally correct, it soars as high as the falcons circling above the stage.

The Mother Hips have a vast catalogue of songs harvested over the last 20 years that touch on a variety of genres: country, rock, blues and psychedelic. Though initially not a group that wanted to be pigeonholed into the journalist-crafted genre, “jam bands,” there were moments on both nights when the music disintegrated into a black hole only to reemerge as a bursting nova.

Longtime bassist Paul Hoaglin is on a band hiatus (much to everyone’s dismay), so Frank Zappa henchman Scott Thunes filled in, crushing the bottom end like a seasoned vet with a wicked sense of humor. Stalwart drummer, John Hofner—looking more and more like he was just transported here from the ’70s—kept everything in time. The band never sounded better.

Saturday, Jackie Greene joined Tim for a thin set of their side-project The Skinny Singers, but it just seemed to be a prelude to Greene (on keys), who joined the Hips for the late-night jam.

blog_Mother2Sierra Nevada provided ample kegs of the new Mother Hips beer, Hips Helles—and libations flowed generously. Just as rain began to fall, Beach Boy Al Jardine came onstage to wow the crowd with a Hips flavored mini-set of Beach Boys classics. “Help Me Rhonda” was a crowd favorite as the children onstage joined in harmony. Hips guitarist Greg Loiacono even had a rare onstage smile as he shredded alongside the legendary band member.

The rain meant camping was out of the question, but my fiancée and I headed back to Santa Cruz with warm memories of singing along to festival closer “Can’t Sleep at All”, and anticipation of next year’s Hipnic.

For more info about Mother Hips, visit motherhips.com and next year’s Hipnic 2012 at folkyeah.com.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Fernwood is an amazing place
written by Jefferz, June 01, 2011
Man i soooo plan to go next year! I went camping at Fernwood Memorial Day and it is an amazing place, redwood hike to the hills, camp fire, AND the Hips !!! OMG - looking forward to the June show at Moe's
Can't believe we missed it!
written by Tigg Orr, May 31, 2011
Work be damned, my girlfriend and I WILL be at Hipnic next year!!!!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover