Tim O’Brien – Pompadour

Multi-award winning bluegrass-folk-singer-songwriter Tim O’Brien greases the musical wheel with Pompadour set to release on October 30th
on his label Howdy Skies Records. Produced and recorded by O’Brien, he
continues to meld his love for the traditional sounds of bluegrass and
country with his dash of modern that finds him in a new place in life.

It’s been four years
since the last Tim O’Brien solo record, and he has not sat idle. He’s
been fronting, piloting and performing with folks like Steve Martin and
Mark Knopfler to Hot Rize and Earls of Leicester, a group that includes
dobro-master, Jerry Douglas. He’s achieved award-winning success, played
with a vast grouping of musicians and yet the solo work keeps tugging
at his feet.

The seeds of Pompadour took
root about three years ago when O’Brien welcomed his New Zealand
traveling colleagues to Nashville. “Gerry Paul is a guitarist from
Wellington, New Zealand, and Trevor Hutchinson is a bassist from Dublin,
Ireland,” O’Brien says. “We grabbed a couple of days and recorded. This
album was meant for the three of us to tour behind, but a lot of other
things got in the way. And Gerry and Trevor both play with various
bands, so I decided to finish it up on my own.”

Pompadour swirls together bits of
bluegrass, deep-roots Appalachian music, field hollers, old-school rock
‘n’ roll to traditional jazz and even James Brownian funk. The same
applies to the perspectives from which O’Brien addresses the central
theme. The spare lyrics of “I Gotta Move” and use of everyday images on
“I’m A Mess For You” imply rather than spell out a story of loss and
redemption. A steady-rockin’ groove drives the classic trope of asking a
doctor for a cure to heartache on “Give Me A Little Somethin’ Take Her
Off My Mind.”

O’Brien hopes this release will touch his listeners more personally
than much of today’s new music. “This album feels really good to me,” he
sums up. “I love collaborating with other people, but I also like to
stretch out and achieve things I might be best able to do on my own. It
hangs together and tells a story. It’s honest. It shows who I am as a
person as well as a musician. That’s something I can be proud of.”

Short Order Sessions is an online shop that releases two download
tracks each month on Amazon, iTunes, and other digital outlets. “I was
inspired by Mo Ash and his Folkways vision. He recorded tons of stuff,
down and dirty, and kept it all in print. He dodged commercial pressure
somehow and was still able to do his own thing. I was thinking; Friends
come to town, and we might jam at my house, and I’ve often thought it
would be great to catch some of those moments. And I had these tracks in
the can and ideas for others. The digital delivery system has changed
everything, and I figured – why not carve my own model? In a way, the Pompadour CD is really just a way to advertise SOS.” 

OK, I’m sorry, but this isn’t on the album either. But I can’t help myself with this one.

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