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.”
Travis Linville has been very busy since he appeared on our stage in early 2018. He has become legendary regionally for his work in the Burtschi Brothers and for behind-the-scenes influence. Having been called a “Godfather of modern Oklahoma folk”, he’s been a mentor and contemporary for a multitude of other Oklahoma acts including John Fulbright, Parker Millsap, the Turnpike Troubadours and John Moreland.
There’s something inexplicably authentic about Oklahoma’s Travis Linville, and it’s carried him from dive bars and classrooms to “The Tonight Show” and esteemed theaters and festivals across the globe.
A sought-after collaborator, Linville’s touring instrumental work includes turns onstage with Samantha Crain and Hayes Carll and session work with too many artists to count, among them gifted American songwriter John Moreland and indie rock stalwart Berwanger (feat. members of the Anniversary). In recent years, he’s performed his own music as hand-selected support for Carll, fellow Oklahomans Moreland and Parker Millsap, Todd Snider’s Hard-Working Americans, and even country legend Marty Stuart.
We’re sure you’ll agree that this Oklahoma native has earned the reputation as one of the most respected musicians and performers from a very large pool of talent.