Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott 'We’re Usually a Lot Better than This' - Full Light

Live recordings from 2 benefit concerts in 2005 & 2006 for the Arthur Morgan School in North Carolina where both Tim and Darrell had kids studying. The title comes from Tim’s introduction to Mick Ryan’s Lament and is a misnomer – these guys are both great musicians and writers, natural performers – and the CD is a delight. The songs are well chosen cover versions (Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain, Lefty Frizzell’s Mom and Dad’s Waltz and Keith Whitley’s You Don’t Have to Move that Mountain) among others; songs of their own (Darrell Scott’s Long Time Gone, Tim’s  Climbing up a Mountain) and several traditional songs they have arranged.

My favourite is an acapella version of Hank William’s House of Gold, powerful sing of a superb song. This is the next best thing to having been there on the night(s). Darrel Scott’s liner notes are worth quoting: ‘herein lies the folk fire, through instruments, through harmonies, through song that Tim & I have when we get together…we egg each other on towards the edge of crash & burn – hopefully there is more crash than burn here.’ It is all burn and getting scorched has rarely been more enjoyable.