Teacher, guitarist, composer, author, performer, Mike O’Brien has served as sideman to Adam Cohen, Lisa LeBlanc and Elisapie, in addition to working with the country tandem Sin and Swoon, and the band El Coyote. For this solo project, the anglo Montrealer signed in to Hotel2Tango and worked with one of its eminent co-owners, Howard Bilerman, accompanied by double bassist Andrew Horton and singer Michelle Tompkins. This simple and fun album illuminates enlightened reflections on intimate life and its immediate periphery. The opus also reveals mantras of hope, tragicomic testimonies or even cartoonish winks recalling the Disney songs concocted by the Sherman brothers. The folk, country, and bluegrass references are undeniably mastered, digested, and… until the eighth track, these songs in O’Brien’s baritone voice might seem to come from anywhere. But a nice French song, “Le prix”, rectifies the impression. That’s when you realize that the Montreal region is the only one where bilingual Canada works in practice… and still not in theory.
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