Tim O’Brien brushes his teeth with Coca-Cola?

Brush My Teeth With Coca-Cola - Tim O'BrienTim O’Brien has a new single, and a new distribution system for releasing his music.

With his 2015 dedicated to Hot Rize, the bluegrass vehicle which first brought Tim and his music to prominence 30 years ago, he wanted a way to keep making new music on his own, and getting it out to his fans. So he’s created a concept he calls Short Order Sessions, where he will make a new song available for download purchase every two weeks.

First up this week is Brush My Teeth With Coca-Cola, a whimsical look at the chemical spill that occurred in the Elk River in West Virginia this time last year. Local water supplies were contaminated for several days and residents were advised to avoid their household water supplies for the duration. The problem came to water authorities’ attention when residents complained of a sweetish, licorice smell when they ran water.

The story led Tim to compose the song with this clever chorus…

I brush my teeth with Coca-Cola, wash my face with Mountain Dew
We live down in chemical valley, licorice water runnin’ through,
Licorice water runnin’ through

It’s performed in the western style, sort of as a Red Knuckles protest number. Kathy Mattea sings harmony with Mike Bub on bass, Kenny Malone on drums, Chris Scruggs on steel, and Colin O’Brien on banjo.


The new single is available now from popular online digital resellers. There will be another in two weeks, which Tim says will be a Michael Hurley song called Ditty Boy Twang, featuring Sam Grisman on bass and Nat Smith on cello, recorded recently in his home studio. Look for that on the 20th.

There are no plans to assemble these Short Order Sessions singles into an album format, so get ’em as they come.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.