Opera House: An Evening with Tim O’Brien Band, 4/4

Opera House: An Evening with Tim O’Brien Band, 4/4

The Sheridan Arts Foundation presents “An Evening With The Tim O’Brien Band” live at the Sheridan Opera House on Thursday, April 4, 2019. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 GA & $40 reserved seats on the main floor and balcony. (A $5 ticketing fee is charged at all ticket outlets.) Tickets and additional event information are available at sheridanoperahouse.com or 970.728.6363 x5.

Scroll down for a sample of Tim O’Brien, a favorite son of Telluride, in action, including with Jan Fabricius.

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia on March 16, 1954, GRAMMY-winning singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien grew up singing in church and in school and, after seeing Doc Watson on TV, became a lifelong devotee of old time and bluegrass music.

O’Brien first toured nationally with Colorado bluegrass band Hot Rize, who last year marked 40 years as a band. Kathy Mattea scored a country hit with his song “Walk The Way The Wind Blows” in 1986 and soon more artists like Nickel Creek and Garth Brooks were covering O’Brien’s songs. Over the years, Tim O’Brien has collaborated with his sister Mollie O’Brien, songwriter Darrell Scott and noted old time musician Dirk Powell, as well as with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Bill Frisell and Steve Martin.

This year’s March release, Tim O’Brien Band, features his regular touring band of well-known players Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle), and Patrick Sauber (banjo/guitar), and Jan Fabricius (vocal). Shaping O’Brien’s blues, jazz, and Celtic influences within a string band setting, the group transform five originals and some well-chosen covers into his own unique brand of bluegrass.

Other notable O’Brien recordings include the bluegrass Dylan covers of  Red On Blonde, the Celtic-Appalachian fusion of  The Crossing, and the Grammy-winning folk of Fiddler’s Green. O’Brien’s 2017 release, Where the River Meets the Road, paid tribute to the music of his native West Virginia.

In 1999, O’Brien formed his own record label, Howdy Skies Records, and launched the digital download label, Short Order Sessions (SOS,) with his partner Jan Fabricius in 2015. This crew has the potential to make 10 more records together and never reach the limit of the possibilities. Particularly noteworthy are the harmony vocals of Jan Fabricius.:

“We’ve sung together informally since she became my partner seven years ago, and she’s always had a real natural way with the harmony, kinda pasting her sound onto mine.”

Fabricius’ distinctly folky voice is serendipitously matched with O’Brien’s, consonant with his arrival at the bluegrass world from the side of a folk musician. She sings lead on “The Other Woman” in Tim O’Brien Band.

The Tim O’Brien Band marks a return to bluegrass, but it is also a continuation of the “Crooked Road” that O’Brien sings about on the final track. It is new, but familiar in the same way we have watched his career wind from port to port, especially in Telluride where the talented artist returns year after year for over 40 now to Telluride Bluegrass and the Opera House stage:

“I walk a crooked road, it leads me to tomorrow / through all my joy and sorrow/ I walk a crooked road.”

The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, to bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride and to provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE and Colorado Creative Industries.

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