O'Brien and Moore Perform in Aberdeen
The Rooster's Wife continues the winter concert series with a treat for area music lovers.
Mollie O'Brien, accompanied by stellar guitarist Rich Moore, presents an evening of acoustic music at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at the corner of High and Blue streets in downtown Aberdeen.
Mollie O'Brien sings jazz, blues, gospel, Southern mountain traditional and more. Growing up in Wheeling, W.Va., one of five children, Mollie was exposed to music of every stripe, from performances by the Wheeling Symphony to concerts by Count Basie, Ray Charles, and the Beatles. She listened to singers -- Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, Bonnie Raitt and Dinah Washington, Streisand, Sinatra, and Betty Carter -- and took voice lessons.
Later, with her brother, Tim, she performed in church and at coffeehouses. All the while she dreamed of heading to New York to sing and act on Broadway and make a big splash in show business. After her sophomore year of college, she set out for the Big Apple, but the auditions were discouraging and gigs were few. She stuck it out for four years -- long enough to discover the irresistible pull of swing music and the stylistic stretches required for jazz.
Eventually she moved to Colorado, where her brother had already staked out territory in the booming music scene.
O'Brien moved to Boulder in 1980, worked as a duo with Tim, and formed her own R&B band. Now, a couple of decades later, she's married with two teenage daughters and a firmly established singing career.
Her recordings are a tribute to the variety of her taste and the versatility of her performance.
On her solo CDs -- "Every Night in the Week" and "I Never Move Too Soon" (on Resounding Records) and "Tell It True," "Big Red Sun," and "Things I Gave Away" (on Sugar Hill) -- she moves without hesitation from style to style, dipping into the songs of Lennon and McCartney, Percy Mayfield, Memphis Minnie, Chuck Berry, and the Subdudes.
Showcasing her old-time, folk, blues, and gospel chops are three albums with Tim O'Brien ("Take Me Back," "Remember Me," and "Away Out on the Mountain," all on the Sugar Hill label).
There have been any number of collaborations, most notably the Grammy-winning "True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe" (Sugar Hill) with a stellar bunch of bluegrass greats. For the past few years, O'Brien has worked with Garrison Keillor and Robin and Linda Williams as the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, with her own five-piece band, and as a duo with husband, Rich Moore.
Rich Moore is well-known and well-loved in Colorado's acoustic music family and has lived and performed here for over 25 years.
He made his reputation early on as bassist and guitarist with stellar local outfits like The Solid Senders, and in recent years has been the rhythmic bedrock for Pete Wernick's Live Five, Celeste Krenz, and with ensembles fronted by his wife, Mollie O'Brien.
He is guitarist of choice for folk legend Tom Paxton, who invariably requests Moore as a sideman for his Colorado shows.
Known primarily as a bass player, Moore showcases his formidable guitar chops on his solo recording "Steady State." His approach to the guitar might be thought of as solo guitar ensemble, though many of the album's selections employ a wealth of Colorado talent including stand-out contributions from John Magnie and Brian McRae.
After years of collaborating with other musicians, he found that he was writing more and more of his own tunes, and required a solo project to contain his burgeoning catalog of originals, the CD contains seven of Moore's compositions along with three covers, including a Ray Charles-inspired "You Don't Know Me." Rich's shows are a combination of fine playing and first-rate performance.
His audiences are treated not only to his excellent guitar styling, but also to his quick wit and humorous observations.
The Rooster's Wife is a private nonprofit association organized to celebrate the performing arts in Aberdeen.
Tickets are available on line at www.theroosterswife.org, with credit and debit card, or at the door with check or cash. Reservations are preferred; call (910) 944-7502.?
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