Mountain Stage with Larry Groce
Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore with Brigid & Lucy Moore, Tim O'Brien and others
Sun · February 11, 2018
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pmCulture Center Theater
$20.00 - $30.00
This event is all ages
Available to Mountain Stage Members December 15 at 10am.
On-sale to public: December 22 at 10a.m.
Advance Tickets: $30
Advance Tickets for Mountain Stage Members:$20
Day of Show: $35
Available online, by phone (877.987.6487), or at Taylor Books - Downtown Charleston.
Become a Mountain Stage Member for public radio perks and early access to tickets! mountainstage.org/memberhttps://mountainstage.ticketfly.com/event/1611745/
American music. Think of The Roches, The Carter Family, The Holmes Brothers, The Del
McCoury Band, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Heart, The Staple Singers, The Everly
Brothers and The Bee Gees, and think about what draws you most to their sounds. It’s
the singing. It’s the harmonizing. It’s the way you can’t tell which family member is
singing which part. It’s the wonders of DNA at play that bring you into a rich, musical
world that comes about only when people with common speech patterns and genetics
get together behind a song.
Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore’s fans have come to know over the years that they produce thoughtful and rich recordings
covering the broad spectrum of all the music we call our own (2006’s 900 Baseline, 2010’s Saints & Sinners and 2014’s Love
Runner). Mollie has also released 3 solo CDs as well as 3 duo CDs (with brother Tim O'Brien) for Sugar Hill Records that are
considered classics in Americana music. In 2012, their O’Brien Party Of 7 CD Reincarnation - The Songs of Roger Miller, further
showcased their family stylings.
But for Mollie and Rich, recording the new album Daughters was the chance to bring to life a long time dream of a family
band project — just the four of them with stripped down instrumental accompaniment (aided by master acoustic bassist Eric
Thorin). And it was only after the sessions did they realize how much the family dynamics in the studio showcased their
daughters Brigid and Lucy Moore’s talents. “This became a project about the vocals — the instrumentation is just there to
bolster the singing. At times when I was listening to the mixes I had a hard time telling who was who,” says Rich. “The timbre
and tone of each harmony part was so alike I didn’t know if it was Mollie or Brigid or Lucy singing.” “I knew we’d sound alike,”
says Mollie. “That was a given. But when it came to rehearsing and arranging these songs I almost felt like I would burst with
pride — both Brigid and Lucy brought wonderful tunes and ideas to the table that I would expect from any of my peers. It’s a
thrill to know that some of the music we’ve made over the years has rubbed off on them. They both have a deep knowledge
of all kinds of music and it’s humbling and quite emotional to realize these two adults came from me and Rich.”
The tracks on Daughters have an uncanny relationship with what’s happening right now in our world. From Bob Lucas’
“Trouble”, offering hair-raising warnings of modern life’s destructive possibilities, to Brigid’s take on Randy Newman’s “The
Beehive State” that hint at this summer’s political conventions, to Lucy’s seemingly lighthearted version of Tom Waits’ and
Kathleen Brennan’s “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and all that today’s version of the American dream doesn’t offer, to Mollie’s
stately version of what a peaceful death could be like in Diana Jones’ “The Day I Die” — we see a little capsule of what life is like
today. Add Lucy’s original song about friendship, “Sister”, Rich’s beautiful instrumental about a small Sierra town, “Murphys
Waltz”, Brigid’s thoughtful take on Del Shannon’s “Restless” with its rumination on loss and rejection, and a new version of Judy
Roderick’s “Floods Of South Dakota” which Lucy suggested as an alternate take to her mother and uncle’s 1992 recording —
each of these highlight what family harmonies can do to uplift the spirit and freshen the soul.
He started making his living as a musician at age 19 in Chicago and in Jackson, Wyoming eventually relocating to Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 1974. O’Brien found work there as a fiddler with local bluegrass bands and as a member of the Ophelia Swing, recording with them and with Pete Wernick in 1977. In those early Colorado years, he started playing the mandolin, and studied guitar and music theory with local jazz great Dale Bruning.
In 1978, Tim co-founded the bluegrass group Hot Rize with Pete Wernick, Charles Sawtelle, and Nick Forster. Hot Rize and Western Swing alter-egos Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers eventually recorded ten albums and toured the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The group was named Entertainer of the Year 1990 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and their "Colleen Malone" was named IBMA’s Song of the Year in 1991. He won IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the year in 1993, and again in 2005, when he also won song of the year for "Look Down That Lonesome Road".
Solo recordings started with 1982’s "Hard Year Blues", and other projects included three duet albums with his sister Mollie O’Brien. Folks in Nashville started noticing Tim’s songs, and he had top ten country hits in 1989 and 1990 with Kathy Mattea’s versions of Hot Rize songs "Walk The Way The Wind Blows" and "Untold Stories". Other notable covers by New Grass Revival, Nickel Creek, Garth Brooks, and the Dixie Chicks followed. Hot Rize went dormant in the spring of 1990, after which O’Brien performed and recorded on his own, eventually releasing sixteen solo recordings, as well as collaborations with Dirk Powell ("Songs From The Mountain") and with Darrell Scott ("Real Time" and “Memories and Moments”). Landmark solo releases include a Grammy nominated set of bluegrass Dylan covers – "Red On Blonde", the Celtic/Appalachian fusion of "The Crossing", and 2005’s Grammy winning "Fiddler’s Green".
Tim toured and recorded with Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes in the early 2000’s, and with Mark Knopfler in 2009 and 2010. Other recent collaborations include a track with Steve Martin ("Daddy Played The Banjo"), a family band set of Roger Miller songs ("Reincarnation"), and the reunited Hot Rize’s "When I’m Free". A collaboration with Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp and others -"The Earls Of Leicester" - won a Grammy as well as IBMA’s Record of the Year in 2015.
Tim has produced recordings for Laurie Lewis, the Yonder Mountain String Band, the Infamous Stringdusters, Old Man Luedecke, and early mentor J.D. Hutchison. He has recorded and performed with The Chieftains, Joan Baez, Dierks Bentley, Bill Frisell, and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. He contributed to the movie soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" as well as those of "Cold Mountain", and "The Blob". He is a former president of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and currently serves on the board of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. O’Brien formed his own record label, Howdy Skies Records, in 1999, and in 2015 launched the digital download label Short Order Sessions (SOS) with his partner Jan Fabricius. SOS releases a new track every month. He has two sons, Jackson (35) and Joel (27), and has lived in Nashville since 1996. Hobbies include cooking, skiing, and playing traditional Irish music.
Tim's latest release is 2017's "Where the River Meets the Road. Focusing on the music of his native West Virginia, it features songs by Billy Edd Wheeler, Bill Withers, Hazel Dickens, and two O'Brien originals, as well as traditional material by the Lilly Brothers, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, and Doc Williams. Guests include Stuart Duncan, Kathy Mattea, Chris Stapleton, Bryan Sutton, and Jan Fabricius.
"I had always genuinely considered taking over the boat," explains William. "Music has always been my passion, but as a realist who also loves the physical labor and intensity of commercial fishing, I could never really know which career path would be more fulfilling or what I would be better at." The decision was made for him and his sudden and profound losses forced him to focus on what matters most, resulting in his remarkable solo debut 'Countries.'
Anchored in Van William's love of melodic songcraft and infused with melancholy, 'Countries' doesn't belong to any specific style. It's American Heartache, music that stirs up forgotten memories and feels eternal and fresh, as it pulls the past into the present as a way of navigating considerable loss
'Countries' feels immediate, reflecting how Van William had no other option than letting his feelings spill on the page. "I was freaked out, but part of that freak-out was this renewed sense of drive and purpose. I had to take stock of where I was at musically. My previous projects no longer felt honest in their pursuit and style. This cataclysm of events shook me back into feeling present with what I want to do and who I want to be as an artist. I don't know if I would've got there without it."
Van William's tumultuous year can be heard on 'Countries,' an album that also exudes warmth, mirroring the intimacy of its recording. After writing the record in seclusion in the Sierra Nevada, he decided to head to a studio in Stinson Beach, Marin County, California with a few close friends—including his co-producer Brian Phillips, Dawes drummer Griffin Goldsmith, POP ETC bassist Chris Chu and keyboardist Tam Visher— creating a homespun atmosphere whose coziness can be heard on the album. This was the only way this album could be recorded—confessional songs delivered with the support of confidants.
Van William was well aware that he created 'Countries' during a period where his own country was roiled with tension, realizing that his own stories carried a wider sociological dimension. "I started to think of the idea of two people in a relationship acting as separate countries. Different countries that start as two separate entities but throughout history, their borders change and morph into each other. They're constantly trying to figure out how to get along, and that felt like so much to me like my experience with my last relationship."
Such parallels surface clearly on "Revolution," a song about a couple at odds on how to solve their problems that can also be read as a political rallying cry. Thanks to harmonies from the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, "Revolution" carries a delicate sense of heartbreak, a sentiment that also echoes on "The Middle"—a sensitively etched portrait of a relationship's second act—and the lush "Skyward," which floats upward on its sweet strings. But Countries doesn't strictly dwell on sadness. "Fourth of July" camouflages its yearning for emotional freedom in an effervescent melody, "Cosmic Sign" offers a ray of hope in its celebration of the wide vistas of America, while "Never Had Enough Of You" rumbles forth with a barnstorming majesty of reminiscent of early 70’s Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
'Countries' may also recall the burnished ache of acoustic Young but in its melancholic forgiveness, the album suggests such modern touchstones as Beck's Sea Change, and like those masters, Van William has the skill to turn his own heartbreak into something rich, resonant and true.
Born March 28, 1941 in Oak Hill, West Virginia, USA.
Culture Center Theater
West Virginia State Capitol Grounds
Charleston, WV, 25305