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Chameleon (Dig)

An album by Tim O'Brien

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O'Brien's Okay

  • May 4, 2008
  • by
This is the first time that I've ever heard of Tim O'Brien. Listening to the snippets on the product page enticed me enough to give this album a shot through the Vine program. I was quite surprised. Take a little bit of folk, a little bit of bluegrass, add some straight-up hillbilly and a little politics and you have O'Brien's latest album, "Chameleon." Playing instruments that span a time period from 1922 to 2004, O'Brien peppers his traditional sounding tunes with some very modern topics. "Phantom Phone Call" is played on a 1922 Carlo Micelli Fiddle, but the lyrics speak of a much more modern invention, the cell phone, and the dangers that may or may not come with it. "Get Out There And Dance" is pretty straightforward as to what it is about, and its simplicity sounds sweet coming from a 1975 Nugget A-5 mandolin. Other highlights include "Hoss Race," "Father Forgive Me," and the wonderful "World of Trouble."

If you enjoy alt country, that high lonesome sound, and traditional Blue Ridge sounds, Tim O'Brien is your man.

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More Chameleon (Dig) reviews
review by . June 03, 2008
posted in Music Matters
If there's any justice in the recording industry (and I have my doubts) Chameleon is going to take the Best Folk Recording of 2008. "Chameleon" is a CD worth owning. Download tracks if you must, but this CD is of a whole, and it hits all the right notes. According to the liner notes, Tim O'Brien took his instruments (and he plays a lot of them at virtuoso level) and a bunch of song ideas into the woodshed and didn't come out until he had this recording. Time well spent.    "Chameleon" …
review by . April 28, 2008
Tim O'Brien's new solo release finds him in very fine voice and delightfully showcasing his skills on a variety of stringed instruments. In addition to being consistently tuneful, his voice has a warmth and richness which I found reminiscent of the great English Folk singer Roy Bailey. The 16 tracks on this album incorporate a broad range of traditions, including various shades of Country/Folk and Blues.    None of the songs themselves are startlingly, or even memorably, original. …
review by . April 24, 2008
After initially planning to sample it a little and then settling back to get the full experience later, I couldn't let go. Best laid plans don't you know? More than an hour later, after two consecutive play throughs, my feet were still tapping. This is flat out enjoyable music, artfully performed and with just enough lyrical commentary to give it some serious bite.    This was my first exposure to Tim O'Brien and it surely won't be my last. The musical marketing powers that be …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #9
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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"...O'Brien plays the hell out of them....and the material...confounds expectations in charming fashion. -- Ed Hurt
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Label: Proper American
Artist: Tim O'Brien
Release Date: March 25, 2008

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