Tim O’Brien set to kick off Jonesborough

World famous singer and musician Tim O’Brien set
to kick off the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough,
Tennessee October 3rd at 7:30 pm
Tennessee (August 7th, 2013) – The staff and board of directors of the
International Storytelling Center are excited to announce that world
famous singer and musician Tim O’Brien will headline an evening of music
during the kickoff of the National Storytelling Festival in
Jonesborough, Tennessee on Thursday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm.
up in Wheeling, West Virginia, O’Brien was surrounded by classic
country and bluegrass music first, subsequently augmented by the
revolutionary folk music of the era, including Bob Dylan, whom O’Brien
paid tribute to on the acclaimed 1996 release Red On Blonde. While his
sister (and occasional collaborator) Mollie took piano lessons, O’Brien
pursued guitar and banjo on his own, eventually adding mandolin and
fiddle to his arsenal by the time he left for college. Dropping out of a
northeastern liberal arts college after a year, O’Brien headed west,
eventually settling in Boulder, Colorado, where a burgeoning, eccentric
roots music scene was forming. Following a stint in the endearingly
ramshackle Ophelia Swing Band, O’Brien co-founded the bluegrass band Hot
Rize in 1978, with guitarist Charles Sawtelle, bassist Nick Forster,
and banjo player Peter Wernick. Combining a healthy reverence for
bluegrass tradition with a playfully postmodern sensibility, Hot Rize
became a fan and festival favorite, recording a series of acclaimed
albums for the Flying Fish and Sugar Hill labels until dissolving in
1990 – at which point O’Brien had already begun to establish himself as a
solo artist.
O’Brien listens to
bluegrass and hears the music’s roots in modal Irish ballads and vintage
swing. He insightfully re-examines and reconstructs those styles, and
many others, in his own music, throwing off new sparks by reawakening
the tension and interplay of the colliding components at the heart of
American music. “Over the years,” he explains, “my music has become a
certain thing. Each time I go into the studio to make a new album, I
could make an Irish record, or a bluegrass record, or a country
record…but it seems artificial to sift anything out. I feel like I’d be
leaving out something important. In the end, I just try to make it
Joining O’Brien for the
evening will be the always entertaining Nora Jane Struthers and The
Party Line. This group is no stranger to the area, having performed
during Jonesborough’s Music on the Square.   The high energy,
Nashville-based quintet performs Struthers’ original story-songs with
tight, three-part harmonies, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, acoustic guitar,
bass, and drums.  Struthers was catapulted into the spotlight when she
led her band to a blue ribbon at the prestigious 2010 Telluride
Bluegrass Festival band competition (previous winners include Nickel
Creek and The Dixie Chicks), and now her group is touring heavily in
support of their latest release, Carnival.  Struthers’ songs are as
steeped in American history, and as well crafted, as the beautiful
vintage dresses she wears on stage. 
 “We look forward to having Tim O’Brien
and Nora Jane and The Party Line provide entertainment for folks during
our kickoff to the Storytelling Festival this year. Both Tim and Nora
Jane have a strong songwriting and storytelling element to their
performances.” said Susan O’Connor, Director of Programs for the
International Storytelling Center.

details on the performers, the Thursday evening event, and the National
Storytelling Festival, including ticket information, can be found at

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