Andrew James O’Brien @ Rivoli

Andrew James O'Brien
Andrew James O’Brien @ the Rivoli

. : : November 8th, 2012 : : .

Newfoundland is a province drenched in a deep-rooted tradition of folk music.

So (although I’ve never been) when I think of Newfoundland, I imagine great big ocean waves crashing on rocky beaches, fishing boats out in the rain, gulls circling overhead in grey skies, and pubs filled with patrons talking over proudly strummed acoustic guitars.

Guitars strummed to songs performed like those of Andrew James O’Brien, who I saw open for Amelia Curran back in 2012. He was promoting his debut album, Through My Days, and an initial Google search to see what he’s been up since then had me a bit disappointed.

Disappointed that he didn’t seem to have released more music, disappointed that his old website domain was taken over by site squatters, and (maybe most of all) disappointed in myself that I didn’t get around to promoting his music while he was still making it.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, that disappointment was short-lived.

Turned out, Andrew and his “special guest” who joined him for a couple of songs on this recording, Catherine Allan, made it official: they have since released a couple of albums under the moniker Fortunate Ones, and have had some remarkable success.

Their band bio notes specifically that their debut album

garnered two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20, won the 2016 “Rising Star” ECMA, the 2015 “Vocal Group” Canadian Folk Music Award, and four 2015 Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also gave public love to one of their holiday tracks, if that’s of any value to you.

If not, perhaps contributions to their sophomore album from Hater-High favourites like Jim Bryson or The Good Lovelies would sway you? Or that it was produced by Daniel Ledwell?

Either way, here’s an early recording that was in retrospect a per-cursor to this band that has developed an awe-inspiring number of achievements in a tremendously short amount of time.

I’m no longer disappointed, but I am sorry it took so long to get here. Hope it’s not too late to find the ear of interested listeners. Cheers!

  1. City Song
  2. [banter]
  3. Go Easy
  4. [banter]
  5. We Were A Boat
  6. [banter]
  7. Through My Days
  8. [banter]
  9. Wherever You Go
  10. Picture in a Frame [Tom Waits]

[info.txt // FLAC Fingerprint]

We Were A Boat (Live in Toronto) [MP3 sample]

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