From his first gigs with the legendary Mother Hips all the way up to his recent debut solo album, ‘Songs From A Golden Dream,’ Greg Loiacono has always been driven by one unwavering desire: to connect. In music, he found a direct conduit to the soul, a miraculous means by which to inspire and unite, and it’s guided him like a compass throughout his remarkable career. Whether Loiacono’s fronting a band, guesting with peers like Phil Lesh or Chris Robinson, or onstage by himself, it’s all part of a never-ending quest to generate and celebrate the magic of shared human experience.
Loiacono’s journey began at Chico State, where he co-founded The Mother Hips with fellow songwriter Tim Bluhm. Before the band had even graduated from school, they were signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings on the strength of their debut album, ‘Back To The Grotto.’ Over the ensuing two-and-a-half decades, they would go on to release eight more studio albums as they cemented their status as architects of a new breed of California rock and roll, one equally informed by the breezy harmonies of the Beach Boys, the funky roots of The Band, and the psychedelic Americana of Buffalo Springfield.
In the early 2000’s, Loiacono dipped his toes into solo waters for the first time, releasing a stripped-down, homespun EP titled ‘Purgatory,’ and during The Mother Hips’ 2003 hiatus, he launched a new band called Sensations. The group’s debut album, ‘Listen To My Shapes,’ was inspired by the concept of synesthesia, and their live concerts were immersive events meant to stimulate each of the listener’s senses en masse.
With 2016’s ‘Songs From A Golden Dream,’ Loiacono showcased a new, more nuanced side of his songwriting, one inspired as much by British folk and pysch-pop as the roots music he’d become known for with the Hips. Called a “remarkable sonic journey, with…ever shifting moods and textures” by The Marin Independent Journal, who also dubbed Loiacono “one of Marin’s most accomplished musicians and songwriters,” the album offered Loiacono the opportunity to define himself on his own terms as an artist.
Loiacono is currently touring with The Hips, The Green Leaf Rustlers (a side project he has with Chris Robinson) and is working on his second solo album under his own name via Blue Rose Music.