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The Crossing

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Album Review

It might be a cliché to say that to understand where you are and where you're going, you must know where you've been, but it's a very accurate cliché — especially when it comes to music. If you're going to have a thorough understanding of the history of country, bluegrass, and Anglo-American folk, it's important to have some knowledge of the music that paved the way for those forms — namely, the music that immigrants from the British Isles brought with them to the U.S. On The Crossing, singer/instrumentalist Tim O'Brien does a fine job reminding listeners how great a role Celtic music played in the development of Anglo-American styles. As a vocalist, O'Brien shows how Irish and Scottish ballad traditions have influenced American folk and country, and as an instrumentalist, O'Brien (who plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and other instruments) shows how the jigs and reels of Ireland and Scotland paved the way for Appalachian bluegrass. A fine storyteller, he describes the experiences of Irish immigrants to the U.S. on gems like "The Crossing" and "Lost Little Children" — and on the humorous, Bob Dylan-influenced "Talkin' Cavan," O'Brien (himself an Irish-American from West Virginia) recalls traveling to Ireland in 1998 to visit the land of his ancestors. This CD is not to be missed.

Biography

Born: 16 March 1954 in Wheeling, WV

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Tim O'Brien is one of the spearheads of contemporary bluegrass. As co- founder and lead vocalist of Hot Rize and Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, O'Brien served as a bridge between the traditional sounds of the hill country and the modern styles of bluegrass in the 1980s. Since the band's breakup, O'Brien has continued to expand the music's borders as a soloist, a duo partner with his sister Mollie, and with his band, the...
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The Crossing, Tim O'Brien
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