The Mother Hips “When We Disappear”

Blue Rose Records, 2023

Over thirty years into their career, The Mother Hips’ new album is adventurous, restless, and rock-influenced.

Front album cover artwork for The Mother Hips' 'When We Disappear'The Mother Hips have been creating cosmic country rock-infused power pop for three decades, with one mid-career hiatus that is thankfully now over. Main songwriters, guitarists, and vocalists Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono formed the band in the small Northern California city of Chico, giving listeners an idea of what West Coast country rock, with R&B and soul influences and minus The Eagles, could have sounded like in the ‘70s. 

‘When We Disappear’ was recorded at producer and musician Jono Manson’s Kitchen Sink Studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This time around The Mother Hips’ music is more rock-influenced, conjuring The Band, their good friends The Black Crowes, and The Allman Brothers, with space left for pedal steel from Jon Graboff on ‘Almost To Idaho,’ barrelhouse piano on ‘Room Four,’ and bagpipes at the end of the big, rocking title track. 

With their eleventh album, the band moves away from the cozy sanctuary of their 2021 release ‘Glowing Lantern’ and ventures out into the world once again. This theme is evident in the reverb-laden, trippy daydream of ‘Lost Out The Window,’ as laid back as a sleepy passenger on a road trip, watching passing scenery and heat rising in waves from the road. Together Bluhm and Loicono’s beautiful harmonies approach The Beach Boys (‘She Stepped Away’), while even alone Loicono’s voice brings Brian Wilson to mind, like on ‘Lost Out The Window.’ There is a bold cover of ‘Codine,’ the riveting Buffy St. Marie song that has previously been covered by Janis Joplin, The Charlatans, Hole, and Donovan. ‘Spirit Of ‘98’ is probably the most quizzical song here – was there such a thing? ‘Stories Unborn’ is a nod to ‘Turtle Bones’ from ‘Back To The Grotto,’ their 1992 debut album.

Post-hiatus has seen The Mother Hips create some of the best songs of their career, including the work they did during their truncated early days in 1995-96 with American Recordings. The stage is part jamming platform and part laboratory for the band, so it will be interesting to see how these new songs evolve live.


About Kimberly Bright 85 Articles
Indiana native, freelance writer specializing in British, Canadian, and American music and cultural history, flyover states, session musicians, overlooked and unsung artists. Author of 'Chris Spedding: Reluctant Guitar Hero.' You can contact her at
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