Mollie O'Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, have for nearly 30 years quietly made it their mission to find, mine and reinvent other artists' songs.
From Colorado, the duo will perform as part of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains Prairie Window Concert Series at 4 p.m. Jan. 28 at the arboretum, 177 W. Hickory Street, Hesston. Pre-paid, reserved seating single-concert tickets (pre-tax) are $20 for adults and $10 for children 18 and under; Dyck Arboretum members receive a 10 percent discount – $18/$9. Tickets can be ordered online by visiting http://dyckarboretum.org.
O'Brien and Moore met in 1981 at the Denver Folklore Center on April Fool’s Day and married a few years later. At the time they were involved in their own bands and working solidly all over Colorado - O'Brien was singing with Prosperity Jazz Band, a vintage swing band which featured local luminary Washboard Chaz among others; Moore was playing bass with the rock-steady blues band, The Late Show. Within a year O'Brien joined The Late Show, and they attracted notice outside the bar band scene and began playing Colorado blues festivals and concerts. A few years of marriage and two daughters later, things began to change. O’Brien quit the blues band and Moore got a day job that he held until both of their daughters graduated from college. Now, here’s how things turned out.
Grammy Award winner O'Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer's singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar HillRecords ("Take Me Back," "Remember Me" and "Away Out On The Mountain"). Eventually, O'Brien recorded five solo albums ("Tell It True," "Big Red Sun" and "Things I Gave Away" for Sugar Hill Records, and "I Never Move Too Soon" and "Everynight In The Week" for Resounding Records). Additionally, she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” from 2001 through 2005.
Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie and Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he's also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O'Brien's twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.
O’Brien and Moore’s first duet CD, a live recording titled "900 Baseline" (Remington Road Records) was released in 2006. Their first studio project, "Saints & Sinners" (Remington Road Records), was released in 2010. In January 2014 they released "Love Runner" (Remington Road Records).
Love Runner features three songs written by O’Brien and Moore: the title track, which is an unabashed invitation for some love in the car; the autobiographical swing-like “Went Back Home;” and a powerhouse turn at the traditional gospel song “Don’t Let The Devil Ride.”
Their latest release came in 2016, called "Daughters."