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Big Red Sun

8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 18, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

You wouldn't know it to look at her, but bluegrass firebrand Mollie O'Brien has a dirt road voice--robust and soulful, not remotely high and lonesome. Big Red Sun, a collection of blues and country-blues tunes, should surprise those who've followed her. The band, paced by the bubbly electric and slide work of Nick Forster, lays down steady folk blues, and even dabbles in Cajun and tough Magic Sam soul. The most striking performance, Steve Goodman's "Looking For Trouble," features just acoustic guitar, accordion, and O'Brien's slow- burning voice. The pieces are in place for a great interpretive work-- including a sumptuous version of Lucinda Williams's "Big Red Sun Blues" plus John Hiatt and Randy Newman covers--but the result is closer to an unexceptional Bonnie Raitt offering. Good, but not quite a revelation. --Roy Francis Kasten


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B000009Q31
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott White on December 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Evidently, other fans know Mollie O'Brien from her bluegrass collaborations with her brother Tim. I bought this CD on a whim after hearing her sing on Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion. She has good range, and her voice is strong, smooth, and forceful. I chose this album because I knew some of the songs by other artists and some of the reviews here on Amazon. None are original songs, but a few are traditionals arranged by O'Brien. She has picked a wonderful set of underappreciated gems written by some of our most talented songwriters. Aside from the wonderful recordings, I love the reminders about some of my musical favorites. These are great songs with great lyrics, performed wonderfully by O'Brien and her backing musicians.
The first song, "In my girlish days" is a 20s era blues piece written by Memphis Minnie, which let me know right away that I was going to love the album. It's a simple, foot-tapping acoustic arrangement featuring guitar and harmonica. Maria Muldaur covered it recently on "Richland Woman Blues," which I love. I won't try to choose which version I prefer.
A few more songs just tear me up.
On "No ash will burn," O'Brien sustains notes and bends them like a methodical blues guitarist. The arrangement features a simple, soulful electric lead guitar, with bass and drums.
"Love like blood" (by John Hiatt) and "Big Red Sun Blues" (by Lucinda Williams)are hear-wrenching songs about love (as deep as it gets) and love gone stale that O'Brien belts out smoothly, clearly, and convincingly. On "Love Like Blood," she has the strength and conviction of Janis Joplin without the rough edges. I don't know much of Hiatt's work, but look for the tribute album "Rolling into Memphis" which got remaindered and is worth far more than the discount price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the finest CDs I've heard in a long time! Mollie has one of the finest and purest female voice I have heard in a long time. This CD shines though, not only by her beautiful voice but also has one of the finest lead guitar pickers around and some of the finest written tunes I've heard in awhile. It's really good to know that 'good music' is not dead but still alive and well. One fine CD and look forward to buying more by this fine lady and her brother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Missy Rinaldi on March 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is one CD thats gets our whole family up and DANCING! We all just love it! Mollie's voice is unbelievably smooth and beautiful. Track after track will have you up and dancing! This is one of those rare CDs that is solid from start to finish. WOW!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Tunstall on July 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
One of the first CDs I've listened to and loved every track! Great variety of songs from Mollie and her band, with crystal clear vocals alternating with clever guitar patterns. My favourite tracks - Looking for Trouble and No Ash Will Burn.
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