WITH the first recorded cover version of their entire roots-rockin’ career, their cover of Anne Murray’s “I Don’t Want To Drive You Away”, just fading in the dust of the rearview mirror; but the street light glow of their eleventh album, Glowing Lantern, and a run of dates Stateside just cusping the horizon, The Mother Hips are pausing at one final truck stop to let you have a listen to another cut from the new album, “Clay Mask Clown”, which is out now on the streaming platform of your choice. Oh, and we’ve got it right here, too, more importantly.
After that Anne Murray rerub, which came to the band from a random gas station cassette – and you sense that the band don’t quite believe they pulled a mom-and-pop song of that origin into their catalogue, made something fresh and inviting of it, either – they return to a boogie-informed, bluesy, six-string stormer this time out.
The song is all about a relationship on the brink of disaster and you’re hooked in on that stirring refrain: “I know you hate me, but you know you love me too … what are we gonna do?” Hey, sure we’ve all been there, right? When love goes black as hell; but hell, you’re still addicted.
“The feeling of having a clay mask over my face was coming on, among other unpleasant symptoms, during episodes of acute anxiety I was having surrounding a difficult time in an important relationship,” details the band’s Tim Bluhm of the song’s dark lyric.
“I’ve come to learn that a mask can represent the repression of the cooperative self, as well as the angry state of the unjustly condemned ego. That all makes a lot of sense in the context of the lyrics, I will sheepishly admit.”
“Clay Mask Clown” was the first song recorded during sessions for the Glowing Lantern, so in the can outta the blocks, nice and early; however ten days later, on the last evening in the studio, Tim just knew they had to give it another go to tape. They ran through it another half-dozen times or more but nailed the version you hear herein today.
In support of that album release next Friday – you’ll find out how to score your own copy, below – The Mother Hips will be playing dates through November and into next year, when they’ll be appearing at the first Tropic of Cancer Festival in Todos Santos, Mexico.
Those dates are as follows:
Friday, November 19th, Denton, TX, Dan’s Silverleaf;
Saturday, November 20th, Austin, 3Ten Austin City Limits Live;
Saturday, November 27th, Felton, CA, Felton Music Hall;
Friday, December 3rd, Springdale, UT, Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon;
Saturday, December 4th, Salt Lake City, The State Room;
Friday to Sunday, December 17th to 19th, San Francisco, Great American Music Hall;
Thursday and Friday, December 30th and 31st, Sacramento, Harlow’s, and
Wednesday, January 12th to Sunday, January 16th, Tropic of Cancer Festival, Todos Santos, Mexico.
Tickets for these forthcoming dates are available here.
The Mother Hips’ Glowing Lantern will be released by Blue Rose on December 3rd, digitally and on limited edition warm golden coloured vinyl; you can order yours here.