Tim O’Brien will kick off ORNL Federal Credit Union’s Summer Sessions concert series in Oak Ridge on Saturday, June 10. Opening for Tim O’Brien will be the Po’ Ramblin Boys, who were a crowd favorite during the 2021 series, a press release said.
O’Brien is based in Nashville. He is a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, and a lifelong devotee of bluegrass music with more than 40 years in the industry, the press release said. He started touring nationally in 1978 with Colorado bluegrass band Hot Rize, and his songs “Walk the Way the Wind Blows” and “Untold Stories” were bluegrass hits for Hot Rize, and country hits for Kathy Mattea. Artists like Nickel Creek, Garth Brooks, and The Dixie Chicks have covered O’Brien’s songs, and over the years, he has collaborated with his sister Mollie O’Brien, songwriter Darrell Scott, and noted old-time musician Dirk Powell, as well as with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Dan Auerbach, and Sturgill Simpson.
O’Brien’s skills on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo make him an in-demand session player, the press release said. The International Bluegrass Music Association awarded him song of the year in 2006 and named him best male vocalist in 1993 and 2006. He was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2022. Notable O’Brien recordings include the bluegrass Dylan covers of “Red on Blonde,” the Celtic-Appalachian fusion of “The Crossing,” and the Grammy winning folk of “Fiddler’s Green.” His duet recording “Real Time” with Darrell Scott is a cult favorite, the press release said, and he won a bluegrass Grammy as part of “The Earls of Leicester.”
O’Brien’s newest album, “Cup of Sugar,” drops June 16. It is a feel-good summertime release with humor on top and deeper meaning just below the surface, the press release said. Backed by his loyal bandmates Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle), his wife Jan Fabricius (mandolin and vocals), Cory Walker (banjo), and other ace sidemen, “Cup of Sugar” features a special guest spot from old friend Del McCoury. “Cup of Sugar” co-writers include Ronnie Bowman, Jonathon Byrd, Shawn Camp, Jan Fabricius, and Thomm Jutz.
Formed in the Smoky Mountains, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are exactly what you would expect and not at all what you would expect from a tattooed, East Tennessee bluegrass band, the press release said. At a time when most people feel constantly distracted by technology and barraged by the news, the music of The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys cuts right through the noise of the world and speaks plainly to the soul. No strangers to hard work, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are as much at home riding in their 1965 GM Tour bus as they are crawling underneath to fix it when it needs maintenance. They take pride in being ambassadors of their genre, and the group has brought their music from rural bluegrass festival stages to the rock clubs of Europe, with stunning results.
All Summer Sessions concerts are free to the public. The June 10 event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the amphitheater in Alvin K. Bissell Park at 1401 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge.
The community is invited to bring their lawn chairs and join their friends and family for an evening of free Americana roots music, the press release said. Local food truck vendors will also be on-site serving delicious treats and drinks. Stay informed about performances and weather-related cancellations by following the concert series on Facebook or visiting thesummersessions.com.
The remaining 2023 Summer Sessions lineup is:
- July 8 at 6 p.m.: Yarn, Sam Bush
- August 12 at 4 p.m.: FERD, The Tillers, Hogslop String Band, and Sierra Hull
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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