On the program for Saturday October 23, 2010
A concert from Mollie O'Brien recorded at the 2010 Celtic Colours International Festival - and - A feature on Halifax based pop trio Dance Movie
Mollie O'Brien loves to sing. Jazz, R&B, blues, gospel, southern mountain traditional -- you name it. And she approaches each with an ease that makes you think she was steeped in the style since the first time a note left her throat. Growing up in Wheeling, West Virginia, one of five children, Mollie was exposed to music of every stripe, from performances by the Wheeling Symphony to concerts by Count Basie, Ray Charles, and the Beatles. She listened to singers -- Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, Bonnie Raitt and Dinah Washington, Streisand, Sinatra, and Betty Carter -- and took voice lessons. Later, with her brother, Tim, she performed in church and at coffeehouses. All the while she dreamed of heading to New York to sing and act on Broadway and make a big splash in show business. After her sophomore year of college, she set out for the Big Apple, but the auditions were discouraging and gigs were few. She stuck it out for four years -- long enough to discover the irresistible pull of swing music and the stylistic stretches required for jazz. Eventually she moved to Colorado, where brother Tim O'Brien had already staked out territory in the booming music scene. So there's the story -- at least the first part. Mollie moved to Boulder in 1980, worked as a duo with Tim, and formed her own R&B band. Now, a couple of decades later, she's married with two teen-aged daughters and a firmly established singing career. She has been called one of roots music's best interpreters and singers, and her voice described as "smooth," "smoky," "powerful," and "bright and bold as sheet lightning." Once you've heard it, you're hooked.
The Halifax based pop trio Dance Movie is made up of Songwriter Tara Thorne, violinist Kinley Dowling and drummer Craig Jennex. . "The name comes from the film genre," says singer/guitarist Thorne. "I didn't want to perform under my own name, and Kinley and I both love dance movies. The godmother is of course Dirty Dancing, stretching through the Step Up series. "Dance Movie is a bit of a throwback. It's angst and heart ache married to rising pop choruses and melodies," says Curran. "I'm a big fan of shoegazing stuff; I'll never graduate from the early '90s -- Dance Movie reminds me of that era, only there's euphoric musical simplicity there. Each song is a mood swing; you're bound to be okay in the end."
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