Darrell Scott and Tim O'Brien Releasing Live Album

08/21/2012
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Darrell Scott and Tim O'Brien will release their joint live album, We're Usually a Lot Better Than This, on October 9.

The album was recorded during two separate concerts at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C. in 2005 and 2006. The shows were benefits for the Arthur Morgan School, where both had children attending as students at the time. (It's not their first recording together; the Grammy-nominated studio album Real Time in 2000 was their debut as a duo.)

"With Tim and me, it's all fair game," says Scott of the collaboration. "We are fearless and we egg each other on toward the edge of crash and burn. Hopefully there's more burn than crash here."

The album contains 13 songs including originals by both O'Brien and Scott from Real Time, plus covers of songs by Townes Van Zandt ("White Freightliner Blues"), Lefty Frizzell ("Mom and Dad's Waltz"), Hank Williams ("House of Gold"), Gordon Lightfoot ("Early Morning Rain") and Keith Whitley ("You Don't Have to Move That Mountain"). It was mixed and mastered by Ray Kennedy.

Scott and O'Brien met while in the lobby of a music publishing company in Nashville 15 years ago. "Putting strangers into a room to 'create art' (write songs) is normal practice among publishing companies," explains Scott. "We came up with a song and it went on Tim's next record. A few months later, we wrote another that went on Garth Brooks' next record. Tim bought a van with his money I remodeled the kitchen with mine."

They actually first performed together at a "pickin' party" thrown by bluegrass legend Sam Bush. It worked so well that they booked a European tour together. "No rehearsals," Scott notes, "just get up on stage and go cat go!"

"Tim is what is called a quadruple threat," Scott continues. "He writes great, he sings and plays great . . . and he plays well with others. What we found is that there's a fire, an intensity, an immediacy, even an intimacy, when Tim and I get together."

"Tim urges me to do my best listening, playing and singing. He urges me to embrace the old-soul country that lies in wait inside me. He does this by being the best I know in all of the above. He stands in the river and says, 'Come in, the water's fine.' And I go in and we play."

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