Master of American Folk Music Tim O’Brien November 13 at the Silver Center for the Arts

October 27th, 2011 by Elizabeth

Tim O'Brien

PLYMOUTH, N.H.—If you are a follower of folk music or blown away by bluegrass, be sure to hear bandleader, songwriter, instrumentalist and vocalist Tim O’Brien in the Smith Recital Hall at Plymouth State University’s Silver Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13.

A noted master of the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki and mandocello, O’Brien has twice been the International Blugrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year. He also has a Grammy to his credit. O’Brien is also a founding member of the progressive bluegrass group Hot Rize.

O’Brien is still going strong decades into his career, steeped in the musical traditions of American folk. This is an opportunity to see O’Brien in an intimate solo appearance.

O’Brien listens to bluegrass and hears the music’s roots in modal Irish ballads and vintage swing. He insightfully reexamines 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.

Kim Ruehl, writing for says, “The closest comparison that comes to mind when thinking of Tim O’Brien is some strange combination of Lester Flatt, Townes VanZandt and Ralph Stanley.”

“Chicken & Egg,” O’Brien’s 13th solo album, was released in July. He says that at 56, it’s a life-affirming meditation on the art of living. “This stuff reflects what goes on in the life of someone my age,” O’Brien reflects.  What emerged was a thematically linked 14-song suite about the passage of time.

“I’m a folk musician,” O’Brien says. “I gravitate toward the old sounds and I still sing a good bit of traditional material. My songs come out of that well of folk music. If you do it long enough, you can’t always tell the old from the new—it blends together. It becomes what happens between the chicken and the egg: I don’t know which came first, but it contains the whole of life.”

Tickets for Tim O’Brien’s single appearance at the Silver Center are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and $15 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office. Call (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online. A convenience fee applies.

Information about arts and events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU,