Just in time for Easter, Grammy-winner Tim O’Brien releases a new bluegrass original, “Little Lamb Little Lamb,” premiering today at The Bluegrass Situation. The song is a taste of what to expect on O’Brien’s upcoming full release, Cup of Sugar, which drops June 16th on Howdy Skies Records. Along with his longtime band, the album features bluegrass legend Del McCoury on a track. O'Brien shares, "In the 46 years I’ve been recording, this is my very first release of all original material." "Little Lamb Little Lamb" was written last spring and recorded in December and features O’Brien on guitar and lead vocal, and features longtime band members Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle), Jan Fabricius (mandolin and vocal), and Cory Walker (banjo). The uptempo track's lyrics contrast the joyful rebirth of spring with the narrator’s advancing age as it celebrates rebirth and renewal.
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR "LITTLE LAMB LITTLE LAMB" HERE
STREAM/PURCHASE THE SINGLE HERE
PRE-ORDER/ PRE-SAVE CUP OF SUGAR HERE
O'Brien shared the thoughts behind the song with The Bluegrass Situation. Nothing says spring like newborn lambs jumping up and down. It’s just encouraging, reassuring like the song says. In May of 2017, Jan [Tim’s wife and bandmate, Jan Fabricius] and I rambled up a country road southwest of Bonane in County Kerry and these lambs were everywhere, testing their legs. The video includes clips from that trip as well as clips from a recent Mountain Stage taping. We’d played at the Fiddle Fair in Baltimore, West County Cork, and that’s a chill little spot, but we wanted even more chill so we booked three or four nights by a lake below a mountain pass there near Bonane. There was really nothing going on except grass growing and sheep grazing. We asked the older woman who ran a cafe by the B&B if she was local. She said, ‘Oh no.’ I asked her where she was from, and she said, ‘I’m from three miles away. My husband’s from here, but people will never accept me as a local.’ Needless to say, we had some good quiet time.
Cup of Sugar includes 13 new originals written or co-written by O'Brien, with songs about a bear, a fish, lambs, horses, and some people too — a grave digger, a neighbor, and even Walter Cronkite. While the songs are playful and sprinkled with humor, there's plenty to chew on just below the surface.
Sounding more and more like himself, O’Brien will debut the new material from Cup of Sugar at the 50th annual Telluride Bluegrass festival on June 17. Please to to go to www.timobrien.net for updates.
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