Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien At The Station Inn, 9/27/12, Nashville, TN
Being the huge Tim O’Brien fan that I am, I arrived in front of the Station Inn at 6:00pm, to find a large crowd gathered out front. I was a bit surprised because there were many other events going on in Nashville that night, but it was understandable that everyone else suffered from the same “sell out show” anxiety that I had. Which would not be unlikely, by the looks of it the checkered table clothed picnic tables inside may only seat a maximum of 80 people. Once inside I placed an order for pizza and took a seat in what appeared to be an old church pew to the left of the stage, I scanned the crowd to find John Paul White from The Civil Wars, and Chris Stapleton, ex singer for the Steel Drivers, were in the crowd as well.
Tim took the stage to introduce the opening act, Old Man Ludecke, and to say that “anyone who ordered pizza should check the counter 10-15 minutes later, so that the microphone announcement would not disturb the show.” Which let everyone know that they were in for a very casual and intimate show. The concert was supporting the release of their new humorously titled live album, “We’re usually a lot Better Than This.” As Tim and Darrell played through the first couple of songs, their closely knit harmonies silenced the entire room. In between songs they broke the silence with laughter as they announced fake awards that jabbed fun at each other and close friends in the crowd, such as “Best Mandolin playing with a capo goes to… Darrell Scott.” “Least likely to be inducted in to the Grand Ole Opry… Tim O’Brien.”
The Bluegrass IBMA award show was also taking place the same night of this concert. The highlight of the night for me was the final song of the set, which was a sort of “talking tribute blues” to Doc Watson, that was played over the tune of “Deep River Blues.” Tim told a story of 3 ½ hours that he spent at Doc’s house one winter night after a gig. The story was comical but full of deep respect for the legend, and obviously a treasured hero of Tim’s. I got to know Doc during the last year he was alive, while I was living in Boone, NC down the road from him. Tim’s story was very moving to me, as I could picture the exact kitchen of his house where they sat picking tunes that night, and I thought it painted an honest picture for everyone else of how humble a man Doc was. Tim and Darrell, whether aware, or unaware of it, are becoming a legends themselves. I was in awe the entire night, as was everyone else in the crowd, to witness this performance on an intimate stage where you can see the performers eyeballs. This is a rare occurrence these days. They are the real deal.
Video: Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien Perform Bob Dylan’s “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)”