When Siobhán O'Brien heard that the Frames frontman Glen Hansard had won the Oscar last month for best song for "Falling Slowly," his duet with Markéta Irglová from the film "Once," she was so happy for him that she cried. Her father told her he had heard the company that makes the guitar Hansard favors had seen him playing his battered old instrument at the awards show and offered him a new one. "I was going, 'Don't take the guitar, don't take the guitar,' " O'Brien recalls from her home in Limerick. She got her wish. Her father said Hansard had declined."That's Glen. I knew he wouldn't take the guitar," says the 38-year-old Irish singer-songwriter. O'Brien seems to need her heroes unsullied and intact; she isn't into the "glitz and the glamour" of success: "I just love doing this," she says of making music. O'Brien met Hansard 15 years ago when they bonded over a mutual love of Bob Dylan. Around the time, Dylan had invited O'Brien, a plucky girl with a strong, delicately tremulous voice, to sing his song "The Fox" onstage in Dublin with him. That song is just one of many covers - from Harry Chapin's "Shooting Star" to Brian Wilson's "In My Room" - that O'Brien recently recorded for her self-released covers record, "Songs I Grew Up To." Tonight at Symphony Hall, O'Brien will sing some of those cover songs when she appears as a guest of the Chieftains. The Chieftains uilleann pipes player Paddy Moloney was astonished when he heard O'Brien's voice on tape. "I was blown away. I thought she's brilliant, you know?
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
Celtic tigers By JIM SULLIVAN | March 12, 2008 Interview: the Chieftains at Symphony Hall —
At 69, Paddy Moloney is still the world’s foremost
uilleann-pipes player. He started playing at 10, around Dublin. In 1962 he
co-founded the Chieftains, who would spread traditional Celtic music throughout
the world. They’ve released 45 albums — the latest a two-CD compilation called
The Essential Chieftains — and won six Grammys, an Emmy, and an Oscar, They’ve
played with Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Sting, Stevie Wonder,
Elvis Costello, the Corrs, Marianne Faithfull, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, and
the Boston Pops, to name a few.
I caught up with Moloney — the remaining
original — on the phone from Princeton, New Jersey, where the bandhad just
played the 12th date of a 17-date US tourIt’s called “The Celtic-Scottish
Connection Tour" We’re going down the road this time with the Scottish.
Alyth McCormack comes from one of the islands off the West Coast of Scotland
[Lewis] and sings in Scots Gaelic and English. She’s with two great musicians,
Brian Mcalpine and Jonny Hardie, who play fiddle, accordion, guitar, and
keyboards. They’re on stage from the word go, right at the top of the show. We
have a guest singer, Siobhán O’Brien. She has a magic
Quote by John O’Regan – Caught In The Act Magazine
During the recent ‘Salute Him When His Birthday Comes’ Dylan
Birthday Concert at Dublin’s The Button Factory, organised by Fleadh Cowboys
main man Pete Cummins, Siobhán performed a solo version of ‘The Times They Are A Changin’ simply
accompanied with her own guitar and harmonica, and received rapturous applause.
The fact that she performed with guitar and harp accentuated the troubadour
image associated with Bob Dylan. While the cast for the night included The
Fleadh Cowboys, Henry Mc Cullough, Gay Woods, new Irish Blues wunderkind
Gráinne Duffy, Liam O’Maonlaí, Mundy, etal, a veritable whose-who of Irish
Talent, the singular figure of Siobhán O’Brien hit the Dublin audience harder
than the rest and received a tumultuous welcome. This audacity is typical of
Siobhán O’Brien – a woman so borne into her own self-sufficiency and belief
that she has garnered a generation of admirers ranging from The Chieftains’
Paddy Moloney, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and back.
John O’Regan on ‘Siobhán O’Brien’ (the LP)
Album: Songs I Grew Up To Reviewed by Alex Henderson
When a singer/songwriter has a name like Siobhán O'Brien, lives in Limerick (which is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Ireland), and has performed as a guest vocalist for the Chieftains, one naturally assumes that some type of Celtic music is involved. And to be sure, there was a Celtic influence on her previous folk-rock album, Songs I Grew Up To. It contained performances of several American songs (including Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” the Grateful Dead’s “Muddy Black River,” Albert Frank Beddoe’s “Copper Kettle” and the Lefty Frizzell-associated “The Long Black Veil”) but nonetheless had some Celtic influence at times. In fact, the Chieftains’ Paddy Maloney appeared on O’Brien’s versions of “The Long Black Veil” and the standard “The Lakes of Ponchartrain.” However, this self-titled CD never really ventures into Celtic territory. It isn’t traditional Irish-Celtic music (such as the Chieftains, the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners or the late Tommy Makem), and it isn’t Celtic rock (which could be anything from the Pogues to Clannad). Regardless, this is an excellent album from O’Brien, who continues to operate in the folk-rock/adult alternative realm.
“You know those periods in music history when music finds itself in ‘Stasis’; Citizen of ‘The State of Monochrome Gray’? History has proven repeatedly that it is exactly during these times that the Irish rise to the occasion, injecting the music scene with their gift, blasting the full spectrum of light directly into the heart of
‘The Music’. This IS…SIOBHAN O’BRIEN!” - Radio Icon Zach Martin