Multi-Grammy award winner Tim O’Brien and his wife Jan Fabricius have performed together nationally and internationally either as a duo or as part of the Tim O’Brien Band since 2015. In a duet setting with a guitar, a mandolin, and their two voices, they bring an intimate and warm acoustic music roots repertoire that’s at once both original and traditional.
Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist O’Brien, born in Wheeling WV in 1954, grew up singing and playing guitar in church and in school. After seeing Doc Watson on TV, he became a lifelong devotee of old time and bluegrass music. Co-founder of Colorado’s Hot Rize, he toured the world with that band from 1978 until he started his solo career in 1990. His songs have been covered by Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks, and the Dixie Chicks, and his collaborators onstage and in the recording studio include Darrell Scott, Dirk Powell, Mark Knopfler, and Sturgill Simpson. Awarded Grammy’s in both the Folk and Bluegrass categories, he is a member of both the West Virginia and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. He lives with Jan Fabricius in Nashville TN.
Jan Fabricius grew up in WaKeeney KS and sang from an early age in church and school, taking up clarinet and then mandolin. A registered nurse and mother of two, she kept her hand in music through local jams and regional bluegrass festivals while raising her family.
Jan’s music with O’Brien started informally around their home as he wrote or learned new songs, and she soon found herself singing and playing mandolin in the studio and onstage. O’Brien’s 2021 release “He Walked On”, and his recent June release “Cup of Sugar” feature original songs co-written by Tim and Jan.
We are very excited to once again have Chris Smither perform in our music series. According to the Associated Press, “Smither is an American original – a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world.”
Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans where he first started playing music as a child. He was taught the rudiments of instrumentation by his uncle on his mother’s ukulele. “My Uncle Howard,” Smither says, “showed me that if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio. And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.” With that bit of knowledge under his belt, he was hooked. “I love acoustic music – specifically the blues.”
Smither’s impressive career spanning almost 50 years includes eighteen albums, seven books, several film projects, and his songs have been covered by Diana Krall, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Esther Phillips, John Mayall and Rosalie Sorrels. He’s shared the stage with countless renowned musicians and we are thrilled to have him once again on ours.
What if Americana actually encompassed ALL of the Americas? We’d have the Tejano and Conjunto sounds of the Texas/Mexico border region, as best exemplified by the accordion and bajo sexto, the American South’s Blues, Jazz and New Orleans R&B, and the lilting grace and fiery passion of the music of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Colombia. We’d also have one of New Orleans’ premier distillers of this musical mélange, The Iguanas.
The Iguanas redefine the notion of Americana, crossing cultures, styles, eras… and even languages. It’s as if Rue Bourbon, Muscle Shoals and Plaza México were all within earshot of each other and The Iguanas were the musical conduit between them.
Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades save for a short, Katrina-imposed exile in Austin the members of the Iguanas have (collectively or individually) played or recorded with everyone from Charlie Rich, Alex Chilton, and Willy DeVille to Emmylou Harris, Allen Toussaint, and Pretty Lights. Their two-decade ride has taken them all over the map musically and geographically, yet the inescapable patina of their hometown infuses every note they play.
Through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood in 2005 that did its best to take their adopted city with it, it’s a testament to the band’s endurance that the same four guys that started playing in the early 1990s are still together. Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band’s persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled — indeed have felled — lesser bands. “First of all, this is all we know how to do; we’re musicians. But more than that,” he continues, “we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it’s good, that’s really what it’s all about.”
Rod Hodges agrees. “l don’t want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it’s not really an outward reward we’re looking for. We all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a rare thing.”
Bennett Matteo Band (BMB) is a collective of brilliant musicians led by guitarist and writer Gino Matteo and vocal powerhouse Jade Bennett. Extremely improvisational while having their feet planted in roots music, BMB are a breath of fresh air to the music world. BMB’s experimentation and refusal to take themselves seriously has made every show an experience.
Gino Matteo is carving the spot he deserves as a “force of nature” in the roots world. Sensational guitarist, songwriter and powerfully emotional live performer, he empowered the Sugaray Rayford hit machine for nearly a decade. Gino has destroyed countless audiences here in the US and abroad with his powerful wit, gut ripping playing, and incredibly gifted musicianship. His explosive, spontaneous, and original live show stands with the most legendary of blues players.
Gino, along with the gutsy soul-power vocals of his lovely and talented wife Jade Bennett, have been heating up the blues circuit across the western US and internationally. This hard charging dream team brings a raw and soulful interpretation to roots music, moving it forward progressively and creatively.
In 2020, just before the pandemic, they completed a blues album but the label they were signed to didn’t know where to put it. That’s when the record’s co-producer and BMB confidant Kid Andersen decided to pitch the band to Gulf Coast Records who loved the album. Not being standard blues fare became a selling point instead of a hindrance.
You will see why this band leaves everyone in awe after seeing them perform live.