Tim bluhm

Listen & Buy Album “Gone With the Windshield” now.

Tim Bluhm embraces a second chance and a new appreciation for life on the creation of his latest record, Top 50 Americana album Sorta Surviving. Recorded at the Cash Cabin with Dave Schools (Widespread Panic) in the producer’s chair, Bluhm puts some of his darkest memories and vivid dreams to pen and paper.

  • In one brief, excruciating instant, Tim Bluhm’s life changed forever. The acclaimed songwriter was speed flying (a more intense version of paragliding) down a California mountainside when he lost control and crashed, snapping his ankle in half and shattering his pelvis. The daunting road to recovery required him to be bedridden for the better part of a year as he underwent more than a dozen surgeries, and it left the avid outdoorsman physically unable to perform even the simplest tasks for months. Rather than mourn the loss of his old life, though, Bluhm looked at it as a second chance, and from his hospital bed, he began writing songs again with a new appreciation for the rich world inside his own mind.

    “It changed my outlook on life and it changed my whole self-image,” says Bluhm, a California native best known as a frontman for the legendary Mother Hips. “It was a humbling thing to be physically incapacitated like that, and it was a reminder of just how fragile we all are. In a way, I look at it as almost a nudge from some higher power telling me to look inwards and pay more attention to my musical gifts. I’m more grateful than ever to be alive right now.”

    Bluhm began his musical journey roughly 25 years ago at Chico State, where he co-founded the now-iconic Mother Hips, a group the San Francisco Chronicle has hailed as “one of the Bay Area’s most beloved live outfits.” The group signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings on the strength of their debut album, ‘Back To The Grotto,’ and over the ensuing decades, released eight more studio albums and shared bills with everyone from Johnny Cash and Wilco to Lucinda Williams and The Black Crowes as they cemented their status as architects of a new breed of California soul.

    He’s always drawn strength and inspiration from nature (rock climbing, surfing, and backcountry skiing have long numbered among his favorite activities), but the accident left him a prisoner in his own body for extended periods of time, physically unable to perform even the simplest tasks. Rather than mourn the loss of his old life, though, Bluhm learned to develop a new appreciation for the rich world inside his own mind.

    “For the first three or four months, I couldn’t move,” he remembers. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t read a book, I couldn’t even roll over in bed because of my injuries. But as I got used to my new condition, my brain got back to its normal self and I realized I was able to start putting songs together again.” Bluhm signed with Blue Rose Music’s Joe Poletto from the hospital, and upon his release, headed into the studio to record the way he’d always wanted, free from the constraints of deadlines and budgets that had inhibited previous attempts at capturing the album. “It’s liberating to be on a label where you have whatever resources you need to make the best possible art that you can,” he reflects. “A lot of artists never experience that luxury. Even when I was on a major label, I didn’t feel the way I do now.”