New Album Coming From Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien have announced October 9th as the release date for their upcoming album for Full Light Records, We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This. A live album consisting of two benefit performances at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC, supporting the Arthur Morgan School, the concerts were recorded in 2005 and 2006. At the time, both O’Brien and Scott had children attending the school.

Combined, Scott and O’Brien have written hit songs for Travis Tritt, Nickel Creek, Patty Loveless, Brad Paisley, Newfound Road, Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Garth Brooks, and more.  With such well known songs as It’s Great DayTo Be Alive, When You Come Back Down, and You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive credited to their name, these two acoustic giants have accolades behind their names that are a mile long, including their last collaboration, the Grammy-nominated Real Time.

The majority of the songs on We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This pay homage some of roots music’s biggest legends, with a handful of originals sprinkled throughout.

Darrell Scott sheds some light on the new release.

“Since we were doing the shows, I thought: ‘Why not record?’, so we did. Herein lies the folk fire, through instruments, through harmonies, through song that Tim and I have when we get together. Some songs we’d played hundreds of times over the years, some we just did on stage on this recording for the first time. With Tim and me, it’s all fair game. We are fearless and we egg each other on toward the edge of crash and burn. Hopefully, there’s more burn than crash here.”

The track listing is as follows.

  • Climbing Up A Mountain (Tim O’Brien)
  • House Of Gold (Hank Williams)
  • White Freightliner Blues (Townes and Will Van Zandt)
  • Mick Ryan’s Lament (Robert Emmet Dunlap)
  • With A Memory Like Mine (Darrell & Wayne Scott)
  • Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
  • Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning (Traditional, arr. by Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott)
  • Long Time Gone (Darrell Scott)
  • You Don’t Have To Move That Mountain (Keith Whitley)
  • The Hummingbird (Darrell Scott)
  • Mom And Dad’s Waltz (Lefty Frizzell)
  • Hambone (Performed by Joel O’Brien to P.D. Sweet Georgia Brown)
  • When There’s No One Around/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott/ P.D.)

With such diversity among the material, this album is sure to have a little something for everybody. Both are such energetic performers, the album is sure to delight audiences young and old alike.

For those hoping this album points to something more, it does! We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This signals that O’Brien and Scott are back together, and are planning to release a studio album next year.

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About the Author

Daniel Mullins

Daniel Mullins is an IBMA award-winning journalist and broadcaster from southwestern Ohio, with an American Studies degree from Cedarville University. He hosts the Walls of Time: Bluegrass Podcast and his daily radio program, The Daniel Mullins Midday Music Spectacular, on the Real Roots Radio network. He also serves as the station’s music director, programming country, bluegrass, and Americana music.