Search - Tim O'Brien :: Crossing

Tim O'Brien
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classical
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

The artist himself calls this project "the inevitable next step for a bluegrass singer-songwriter in his mid-40s named O'Brien," but in this description O'Brien sells himself short. It's only the "inevitable next step" for...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Tim O'Brien
Title: Crossing
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Alula
Original Release Date: 5/4/1999
Release Date: 5/4/1999
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classical
Styles: Bluegrass, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Celtic, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 616498101428

The artist himself calls this project "the inevitable next step for a bluegrass singer-songwriter in his mid-40s named O'Brien," but in this description O'Brien sells himself short. It's only the "inevitable next step" for a musician who is passionate about his craft and his culture, conscientious about his music's deep roots, diligent in their exploration, and bold enough to celebrate them. O'Brien organizes a sort of family reunion that brings together Irish folk, its Appalachian old-time son, and its bluegrass grandson. Like with any family, all of these musical generations enjoy many shared traits and these similarities are brilliantly accented across 16 diverse yet related songs. O'Brien taps a number of resources, ranging from traditional Irish musicians like fiddler Frankie Gavin and wind player Seamus Egan to bluegrass stalwarts like Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan, and Jerry Douglas to modern old-time enthusiasts such as David Grier and Dirk Powell to new-acoustic pickers like Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer, and Mike Marshall. O'Brien even enlists Guy Clark as lyricist for "John Riley" and unveils a marvelous original talking blues ("Talkin' Cavan") done in Dylanesque style. The result is an album that is both ambitious and comfortably traditional. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Brave New World uncovered by the Crossing ...
Ian Clarke | northern ireland | 10/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a fan of both celtic traditional and bluegrass music I was wary of a CD claiming to be a hybrid - too often it means an unsatisfactory compromise where original flavours become watered down and insipid. I need not have worried - Tim O'Brien has produced one of the most amazing and rewarding musical journeys I've followed for some time. Not only do the players from the two traditions blend instinctively and harmoniously but the tracks , mostly songs, are marvellous vehicles for new and exciting directions. There are superb performances all round, vocally from O'Brien with guests Paul Brady, Maura O'Connell, Kathhy Mattea, Del McCoury etc and musicians Altan, Frankie Gavin, Jerry Douglas, Earl Scruggs, Seamus Egan and a host of others and the sound is fresh, acoustic and vital, requiring no production gimmicks or effects. Standout songs for me personally are "Mountaineer is Always Free", "Lost Little Children", "Wandering" and "John Riley" although there is not a weak track on the CD. It is obvious that for Tim O'Brien this has been a labour of love. If you like acoustic music, from any tradition, either side of the Atlantic, you'll love it. Several of my friends have bought it on my recommendation and agree it is brilliant."
Bluegrass Music Meets Its Celtic Roots
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 10/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first encountered Tim O'Brien twenty years ago as the vocalist/fiddle player in the bluegrass band Hot Rize. On this solo outing (which he dedicates to Hot Rize guitarist Charles Sawtelle), O'Brien takes us on a musical journey to his Celtic roots with a wonderful collection of both original and traditional songs.The album opens with the traditional "Ireland's Green Shore" and is followed by "A Mountaineer Is Always Free," an O'Brien original who lifted the title from the West Virginia state motto. The title track is a rip-roaring original fiddle tune. "Wagoner's Lad" is a lovely duet with Kathy Mattea. One of my favorite tracks is "Talkin Cavan" which features O'Brien on guitar doing a terrific take on Bob Dylan as he tells of his 1998 trip to Ireland to find the old O'Brien farm cottage in County Cavan. Each tune is proof of the musical connection between Irish and American folk music. And with guest musicians like Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Seamus Egan (whistles, bodhran), Todd Phillips (bass) and Jerry Douglas (Hawaiian guitar), the music is nothing short of spectacular. Earl Scruggs even shows up on the instrumental medley "Lord McDonald/Cumberland Gap." If you like Tim O'Brien, Celtic music, bluegrass, folk or any combination of the above, you'll find much to cherish on this album. Total running time: 63:10 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
The Crossing-A very enjoyable and important album
Barry Bowman | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | 05/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being a celtic fan, not bluegrass, I was unfamiliar with Tim's work. I was pleasantly suprised by his talent as a writer/singer and musician. I have a huge collection of celtic music and this has gone to the top of my frequent play list. If you are at all interested in celtic/fusion, this is for you. I am also interested in the celtic roots of american and appalachian music. This album perfectly traces those roots. An added plus: the musicians (both Irish and American) are top notch. Don't be afraid to take a chance on this record. It is terrific."