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Saints & Sinners

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iTunes Review

Veteran folk singer Mollie O’Brien and husband Rich Moore make Saints & Sinners an unusually eclectic outing thanks to a far-ranging song selection and creative arrangements. O’Brien’s ability to render lusty blues-based material and sensitive acoustic ballads with equal conviction comes through here, as does Moore’s luminous finger-picking guitar style. The album’s emotional tenor veers from the sinister cabaret mood of Tom Waits’ “Dead and Lovely” to the low-down New Orleans squawk of Dave Van Ronk’s “Losers” and the dreamy pop meanderings of Harry Nilsson’s “Think About Your Troubles.” Jivey jugband-style numbers like “Keep It Clean” and “Everything I’ve Got” are balanced by wistful meditations on mortality and loss like “The Ghost of You Walks” and O’Brien’s own composition “Mighty Close to Heaven.” Especially moving is the duo’s Celtic-tinged version of the inspirational title song, written by David Francey. Banjo, accordion, bouzouki, gypsy fiddle and an assortment of woodwinds and brass give the album a freewheeling, hard-to-classify sound.


Genre: Rock

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

The older sister of Hot Rize member Tim, bluegrass performer Mollie O'Brien grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, where during high school she and her brother teamed up as a folk duo. After studying voice in college, O'Brien moved to New York City, where she worked as a buyer for the garment industry. In 1980, inspired by Tim's success in Hot Rize, she joined him in Colorado, where she became a fixture on the R&B and jazz club circuits. In 1984, the O'Brien siblings reunited for a Mother's Day concert,...
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Saints & Sinners, Mollie O'Brien
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