A Long Way From Lambeth

A new album by Jamie O'Brien featuring fifteen new recordings

I'm a Lambethan!

Available directly from Jamie at concerts or at jamieobrienmusic@gmail.com
Go to Bandcamp, Amazon and Spotify and you'll find the album there

1: (Just) Learning The Game [Jamie O'Brien]
This was written in bits over a few months actually as four separate songs until I realized they were all parts of the same song. I recorded my part with Mitzi and then sent it to Kevin back in Pennsylvania. "Do what you like", was my request and this is what he sent back. Amazing! I now want to record a whole album with him.

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Kevin: guitar, percussion, mandolin, banjo, bass

2: Sunday Serenade (live) [Ernest Hone/Jamie O'Brien]
Ernest came up with the basic song and gave it to me to work on. I changed a few words and added a new verse. I recorded it on my "Chasing Ghosts" album, but people have asked again and again to make a version with Henry available. I then found this live version, so here it is!

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Henry: mandolin, harmony

3: The Curse [Jamie O'Brien]
This song goes back to my younger days. It's never had a proper title, but "The Curse" seems to be the current popular one. I've often been asked what this song is about and who is the witch. In answer to both questions, I really don't know. (Or do I?) No, seriously, it's based on a conversation I had with an old school friend when we met by accident one day in Archbishop's Park.

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Mitzi: dobro, bass, percussion

4: The Lawyer Song [Jamie O'Brien]
When two friends' business partnership came to an end, things took an ugly, acrimonious turn. They each later seemed to have big regrets - so I wrote about it. Of course, being a committed romantic, I had to make it about a divorce.

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Henry: mandocello
Bruce: bass
LJ: percussion
Mitzi: dobro

5: Amoureuse [Veronique Sanson/Gary Osbourne]
Ever since we first got together at college, I've loved making music with Jenny. Back when we were a duo, this was probably our favorite song, so when we met up years later, we had to sing it. And it worked ... just like in the old days.

Jenny: vocal
Jamie: guitar, harmony
Glendon: trumpet

6: Strawberry Hill [Jamie O'Brien]
I wrote the first verse while playing ukulele on the patio. It was such a beautiful day. Shortly after, I got the news that someone I knew had passed away and all I could do was play it over and over. Soon, the rest of the lyrics appeared. I asked Ralph if he could come up with something and what a fine job he's done. Mahalo, Ralph!

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Ralph: steel guitar

7: She And I (December Song) [Jamie O'Brien]
Covid really got me down - no playing for audiences for nearly two years! Eventually, I set up my equipment and recorded this, sending the result to Mitzi, who did an incredible job making things sound professional. (I'm technologically challenged - she's not!) I wrote the song one Christmas many years back about a young woman who was no longer around. It's not that she found someone else - she simply didn't want to be with me! Ah well, you win some, lose some.

Jamie: vocal, guitar, keyboards
Mitzi: bass

8: Blue Eyes [Jamie O'Brien]
A song for my true love, who does want to be with me. I won!!!

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Bruce: bass
LJ: percussion
Henry: mandolin

9: Hey There, Jaime [Jamie O'Brien]
Aoife asked if I had a song. Well, there was this one, based on a conversation I'd had with an ex-girlfriend in a pub on a trip back to Lambeth. Well, it was more of a monologue on her part.

Aoife: vocal
Jamie: vocal, guitar
Gary: hammond organ, drums
Karl Hoffmann: bass, guitar

10: Wasn't It Me [Jamie O'Brien]
I wrote this song after being stranded coming home from Tewkesbury by the most demanding, high-maintenance girl I'd ever been out with. She took offense over something I said or did (I never found out what) and took off in the car with my jacket, bag, wallet and sarnies on the back seat. It took me over 24 hours to hitch back home to Lambeth in the pouring rain - I think people didn't like the idea of giving a ride to an extremely wet, long-haired fella in jeans and a teeshirt. You take rides wherever they may go when you're desperate - I spent the night drenched under a bush at the bottom of Silbury Hill, which is where I started this song. Naim provides some beautiful guitar work!

Jamie: vocal
Naim: guitar
Gary: percussion

11: Please Come Home [Jamie O'Brien/Pete Morson]
When we shared flats in Streatham and Herne Hill, Pete and I would sit for hours with our guitars, singing and writing songs. One evening, instead of creating an upbeat composition like we usually did, we decided to write a tragic song about someone reveling in self-pity. This is it.

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Lisa: piano
Mitzi: bass

12: Look To Baboquivari [Teodoro Ramirez]
I first heard Ted sing this with the Santa Cruz River Band and it really moved me. I had to add it to my repertoire. Imagine how thrilled I was when Ted said I could record. Muchas gracias, Ted!

Jamie: vocal, guitar
Henry: mandolin, mandocello, harmony

13: The Last Time I Saw Anne [Ernest Hone/Jamie O'Brien]
When I moved to Germany, Ernest back in Tulsa Hill and I would exchange cassettes of whatever we'd been working on - new songs, covers, whatever. One time, he sent me a recording of this tune. Years later, I finally decided I had to do something with it and this is the result.

Jamie: vocal, guitars, Tahitian ukulele
Gary: accordion
Mitzi: harmonies

14: Always The Queen [Jamie O'Brien/Stephen Roud]
In the proto-Ogron days, Steve and I decided to write a folk opera, which we called "Drystan, The Outlaw". In spite of all the work we put into it, the fact you've never heard of it shows how good it was. But we had lots of fun and actually produced a couple of really nice songs, including this one.

Jamie: vocal, guitar

15: Learning The Game [Buddy Holly]
People who know me know that Buddy Holly is my hero. I've loved his music ever since my childhood. I think I know the words to every song he recorded and I think I have copies of just about everything he ever did. In my opinion, this song is the best ever written by anyone. I am very conflicted about singing his songs because nobody can sing them like he did. But one time, when I was in a somewhat depressed mood, I sang this ... and people loved it. So, it's become part of my concert repertoire. I love Henry's sympathetic accompaniment. Danke, Henry!

Jamie: vocal
Henry: guitar

The Musicians:

Naim Amor - guitar (www.naimamor.com)
Bruce Campbell - bass (www.fatfiddle.com)
Aoife Clancy - lead vocals (celtic-confusion.com)
Mitzi Cowell - dobro, bass, percussion, harmonies (www.mitzicowell.com)
Jenny Ford - lead vocals
Glendon Gross - trumpet (glengrossquartet.bandcamp.com)
Karl Hoffman - bass, guitar
Henry Koretzky - guitar, mandolin, mandocello, harmonies (/henrykoretzky.com)
Ralph Lunt - steel guitar
Gary Mackender - percussion, Hammond organ, accordion
Kevin Neidig - all kinds of instruments (kevinneidig.com)
Jamie O'Brien - lead & harmony vocals, guitar, keyboards, Tahitian ukulele (www.launies.com)
Lisa Otey - piano (owlsnestmusic.com)
LJ Palmer - percussion

The producers:

Mitzi Cowell, Karl Hoffmann, Gary Mackender, Paul McKeown, Kevin Neidig & Jamie O'Brien

Recorded in Tucson, AZ, Baltimore, MD and Guildford, England

And Gary Mackender is not only a great musician, songwriter and producer, he is also exceptional with graphics - thanks, Gary, for the amazing artwork!

Over the past couple of years, I recorded a number of songs for a new album. But on the way, I was waylaid; with my Hawaiian album, "O'Brien Sings Hawaiian", and with my Celtic album, "Celtic Shades". Thanks to the covid pandemic, I've had a lot of time on my hands at home, so I gathered the tracks together, recorded a few more and here it is, the new album.

Although I was born in Wimbledon, the Borough of Lambeth was my home for many years. At different times, I've lived with family or friends in Brixton, Clapham, Herne Hill, Kennington, the Lambeth Walk, Norwood, Stockwell, Streatham, Tulse Hill, Upper Tulse Hill and Vauxhall - that's pretty much the whole borough.

I went to school there, worked there, taught there and played there. I spent my childhood and adolescence there, so I guess I must be a Lambethan at heart, and I always head back whenever I visit London. It's changed a lot: many places have vanished: the family home, the Pie And Mash shops, Jeffreys Library, Elwell Road, Archbishop Temple's Central School... but much is still there: the Ritzy, Larkhall Primary, The Priory Arms... enough to make a nostalgia trip enjoyable.

But I've come a long way since then. The music I played in Lambeth (solo, with Jenny, Ernest, Ogron, Blackthorn, the Lower Band and more) lives on in my repertoire, as do the many memories of great people. I dedicate this album to all of them - Steve, Jayne, Pete, John, Dave, Tim, Ernest, Peter, Chris, Jules and especially Jenny along with all others, too many to mention - for all those good times. Also to all the audiences who loved the music, especially the kids (they're grown up now!) at the Beaufoy.

And a special thanks to Mitzi and Paul for all they do to make me sound good.

Jamie O'Brien - www.launies.com - (717) 802-5783 - jamieobrienmusic@gmail.com - ASCAP

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