The Catalyst & Folk Yeah Presents
The Mother Hips, Keller Williams
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 16 and over
The Mother Hips
With the release of their eighth studio album, Behind Beyond, via their own imprint label on July 9, 2013; Northern California's the Mother Hips will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band. This album follows their 2009 studio release, Pacific Dust, and a four-disc retrospective compilation, Days of Sun and Grass, both of which garnered critical praise from outlets including The New Yorker, Mojo, Relix, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and cemented the band's reputation as creators of "California Soul." Co-founded by principal songwriter/lead vocalist Tim Bluhm and guitarist/vocalist Greg Loiacono, the Mother Hips has spawned its own community and even its own rock festival, Hipnic. Held at Big Sur, Hipnic is now in its fifth year and has featured like-minded California bands including Cass McCombs, Jackie Greene, Al Jardine, Neal Casal, Dawes and others.
It's been a long, winding journey since their 1993 debut on Rick Rubin's American Recordings, Back to the Grotto, through to the present day, which finds them in full charge of their own careers. Through it all, the Mother Hips are self-sustaining and, 20 years in, continue to operate as a cottage industry. The band also has its own beer and its own wine.
Behind Beyond, recorded over the past year at Mission Bells Studio in San Francisco with co-producer Dave Simon-Baker, finds Bluhm wading cautiously into midlife, exploring thoughts of mortality as if it were a hazy dream. Loiacono, the man behind the many instrumental passages that weave through the album, says that this album "stretches out a lot more than any of our other records." There's a sense of ease with these songs, from the laid-back feel of "Isle Not of Man" to the psychedelic guitar interplay of "Jefferson Army."
Since he first appeared on the scene in the early '90s, Keller Williams has defined the term independent artist. And his 16 recordings tell only half the story. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. Williams' solo live shows—and his ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band—quickly became the stuff of legend, and his audience grew exponentially when word spread about this exciting, unpredictable performer.
Today, whether performing as a one-man band (a stage show constructed around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs while accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar connected to a Gibson Echoplex delay system that allows him to simulate a full band), with a backing band (of which he has many - Keller and The Keels, Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe, and most recently Keller Williams with The Travelin' McCourys and with his new six–piece outfit More Than a Little, among others), or solo acoustic with simply he and his guitar, Keller always reveals himself as a is an artist of great stylistic breadth and infinite imagination.
He is a singer, songwriter and musician, always on a quest for the new. Keller Williams has never followed the prescribed path laid out by the conventional music business but rather one of his own making. It's a path that has served him well.