James O'Brien
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James O'Brien

Band Alternative Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music



James O'Brien & The Church of the Kitchen Sink is a total, kick-ass rock band. From the opening number of "After the Prom" through the close of the night, The Church of the Kitchen Sink took a back seat to no one. In doing so, they succeeded in delivering a musical experience equally as powerful as the lyrical message. Feeding off the rock solid rhythm section ... their energy level was phenomenal and, on the small stage of O'Brien's, the band seemed on the verge of busting out into the crowd. In fact, one time James did just that - walking off the stage into the crowd while playing out the end of a song. - Ed Brilliante

"Boston Phoenix"

"acoustic-based music with guts, power and nerve ... smart, politically charged lyrics ... something akin to the spiritual charge possessed by Phil Ochs and Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett. Although his music bristles with respect and love for humanity, it's clear he feels that we've made our own bed and that we need to rely on our own strength and integrity to drag our beleaguered asses out of it and create a new day." - Ted Drozdowski

"The Buffalo News"

"A new folk hero ... meaningful, aggressive, and entertaining." - Toni Ruberto

"Adam Brodsky"

"Unlike NYC Antifolk, these days, which contains way too much punk rock or my own, which probably doesn't have enough, James' music is the third bowl of porridge...Just Right." - Permanent Records

"Jesse Lundy"

"James O'Brien is one of the finest of the politically-minded folk singers. His act has grabbed the most-diverse crowds we get, and he remains a favorite." - The Point (Philadelphia PA)

"Matt Smith"

"In a time when relevance is needed - James O'Brien writes relevant songs...and writes them damn well." - Club Passim (Cambridge, MA)

"The Tufts Daily (Tufts University)"

"It's a personal art being presented on stage, and the raw music holds each individual listener spellbound. James' performances are not for the weak of heart ... profane, profound and gut wrenching." - (Crystal Hill)

"The Cambridge TAB"

"a variety of strong political thoughts ... his words are touching, some are very angry." - (Ed Symkus)

"Tim Mason"

"James O'Brien brings a fresh, raw honesty and energetic vitality to the stage. He shatters the wall between performer and audience directly engaging his listeners in a shared exploration of the experience of being human today." - Club Passim (Cambridge, MA)


"Spirit Days" 1998 (Life Underwater Music) [*Out of Print*]
"Life Underwater" 2000 (Life Underwater Music/ DBE)
"Church of the Kitchen Sink" 2003 (Life Underwater Music/ DBE)


Feeling a bit camera shy


When he takes the stage alone, James O'Brien might start with a rapid fire rant of well reasoned social theory, sweetened to make you laugh or spiked to make you want to hit the streets with a mission. Or, he might lean into a tense power chord and wrestle with a lyric full of whirlwind imagery . In either case, finding audiences' eyes and locking them into a universe of hope and struggle. With his band, The Church of the Kitchen Sink, O'Brien's show rumbles out of the fissures with drums and bass pulsing, lyrics curly-cuing overhead and O’Brien at the center, punctuating each measure with hieroglyphs of motion. Nothing sits still, nothing is for show. This is real, physical, powerful performance.

James O'Brien is neither purely political old school folk nor preachy conversion rock. Instead O'Brien paints a lush, moving picture of the real world, the world in which we all actually live. Full of ambiguities, complexities, bittersweet humor and moments of raw beauty, his songs are batteries. They are meant to fuel and restore and invigorate our lives in the face of mornings in the cubicle, evenings in the traffic, and bleary repetition. His songs are tools of hope, and admissions of vulnerability, refusing to allow a moderate America to slip into acquiescence by default. Fusing chunky honest chords of authentic roots folk, the sly and soaring melodies of rock n' roll, the poetics of the mid-twentieth century Beats, James O'Brien is the product of American music. He is tireless, positive and invigorating.