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Tim O'Brien

The Crossing – 1999 (Alula)

Reviewed by Stephen L. Betts

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CDs by Tim O'Brien

With "The Crossing," Tim O'Brien's humor as well as his obvious eye and ear for detail come through as loud and clear as a pub full of rowdy revelers. But the record also captures the melancholy side of the Irish and their experiences with equal aplomb. The tough and tender, celebratory and sorrowful nature of the Irish people is a subject for which O'Brien has a distinct affinity, and that shines through every track on this wondrous collection. This excellent album clearly demonstrates why O'Brien has become one of the most important figures in contemporary acoustic music. (Alula, Box 62043, Durham, NC 27715-2403)