Multi Grammy winner and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien has traveled the world and delighted audiences since 1975 with his warm vocals, string wizardry, and heartfelt original songs. His latest recording “He Walked On” maps a pathway through today’s world. In duet with his wife Jan Fabricius on mandolin and vocals, you can expect rootsy acoustic instrumentation and sweet harmony singing, interspersed with O’Brien’s self deprecating humor.
Born in Wheeling, West Virginia on March 16, 1954, Grammy winning singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien grew up singing in church and in school. Gaining attention in the 1980’s with Colorado’s Hot Rize, O’Brien scored a country hit with Kathy Mattea’s cover of his song Walk The Way The Wind Blows in 1986. Soon artists like Nickel Creek and Garth Brooks also covered his songs. Collaborators include his sister Mollie O’Brien, old time musician Dirk Powell and songwriter Darrell Scott, as well as Steve Earle, Bill Frisell, Mark Knopfler and Sturgill Simpson. O’Brien formed his own record label, Howdy Skies Records, in 1999, and launched the digital download label Short Order Sessions (SOS) with his partner Jan Fabricius in 2015.
O’Brien says his most recent recording “He Walked On” is about “what you need to do to survive in America”. Covering work, racial issues, and modern technology, its eight originals and five covers offer an expansive portrayal of the nation from its beginnings to the present day, Personnel includes long time band mates Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle) and Jan Fabricius (mandolin and vocal), along with drummer Pete Abbott, bassist Edgar Meyer, guitarist Bo Ramsey, and gospel singer Odessa Settles.
Jan Fabricius grew up in WaKeeney, Kansas. Her father was a wheat farmer and US Postal worker and her mother was a nurse. Her older sister Diane taught her piano and later mandolin. She played clarinet in her high school band and sang in school and church choirs. Since first attending the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS in 1976, Jan has enjoyed campground jamming at various bluegrass festivals over the years. Her early influences include Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Hot Rize, New Grass Revival, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Norman Blake. A Registered Nurse, she raised 2 sons and has 3 granddaughters. She started dating Tim O’Brien in 2011 and in 2013 moved to Nashville.
The two played fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs around home, and when Tim made his recording “Pompadour” in 2015, Jan sang background vocals on several songs and was soon singing on stage with Tim. Her vocals and mandolin have since been featured on 2017’s “Where the River Meets the Road”, 2019’s “Tim O’Brien Band”, and 2021’s “He Walked On”.