Tim O’Brien launches Short Order Sessions

Grammy winning Americana artist Tim O’Brien will launch his new download
label Short Order Sessions on January 6th. Available on all digital music
outlets including iTunes and Amazon, the label’s debut release is Brush My
Teeth With Coca-Cola, a humorous look at the Freedom Industries chemical
spill one year ago that contaminated the water supply of 300K West Virginia

Proceeds from Brush My Teeth With Coca-Cola will benefit West Virginia
environmental organization AWARE. (

Starting in February, Short Order Sessions will release new singles on the
first and third Tuesdays of each month ( O’Brien is
well known to Folk, Bluegrass, and Americana fans for his hybrid of acoustic
roots music and original songs. His current release with Hot Rize, When I’m
Free is currently climbing the bluegrass charts. Born in Wheeling WV, the
current Nashville resident says the initial release is timely.

“Last year’s chemical spill in the Charleston area woke many of us to the
fragile nature of the environment. My song is one of many written in the wake
of the tragedy. There’s no easy fix, but one year later, it’s more
important than ever to remain vigilant and to hold industry accountable. We
take tap water for granted, so imagine three hundred thousand people suddenly
scrambling for enough water to cook and bathe with, a whole community
stressed and afraid. The guy in my song wonders what to do, hoping to catch
rain in a bucket. Meanwhile he brushes his teeth with what’s handy.”

O’Brien says he hopes to develop a new record label model with Short Order
Sessions. “I’ve seen LPs, then cassettes, now CD’s, come and go. The
traditional album set of 10 or more songs is less viable, so is the record
store that sells them. Single song releases and downloads have taken over, so
Short Order Sessions is my quiet, folky way of staying current. I’m excited
to record and release one-off songs with various friends, to keep new ideas
flowing. “

Brush My Teeth With Coca-Cola features Kathy Mattea on background vocals.
Both West Virginia natives have already made musical stands on coal and the
environment, Mattea with her CD “Coal” and O’Brien with last year’s
Grammy nominated song “Keep Your Dirty Lights On” in collaboration with
Darrell Scott.

Here’s some more about the Short order sessions-


On January 9th 2014, some ten thousand gallons of MCHM (4-methylcyclohexane
methanol, a chemical bath for coal) spilled into the Elk River upstream from
Charleston WV’s water treatment plant, resulting in contamination of the
water supply for over 300K people. The governor warned folks not to drink,
cook, wash, or bath with their licorice smelling tap water. Meanwhile the
tainted water had flowed downstream into the Ohio, causing the Cincinnati
water treatment plant to close its intakes and shift to emergency reserves.
Upstream in WV, hospital emergency rooms dealt with increasing cases of skin
rashes, eye irritation, nausea, anxiety and migraines. It took six weeks
before residents were given the all clear to drink and bath with the water
from their faucets, but problems persisted. Meanwhile, between underground
mines, mountaintop removal, and fracking, well water has also become more and
more suspect.
I read the story with interest, and soon friends in my home state of West
Virginia were talking once again about the chronic problem of slack
enforcement of environmental safety regulations in the state. At the end of
April, a woman approached me at the Merlefest merch table and gave me a copy
of the New Yorker magazine containing an article on the spill. She said,
“Someone needs to write a song about this. Please do it.” I read and
studied and scratched my head for a few weeks. Then I remembered Eddie
Stubbs, back in the ‘80s, telling me about traveling with the Johnson
Mountain Boys in Africa. He said, “Tim, the water was so bad there, we had
to brush our teeth with Coca-Cola.” Linking Eddie’s description of bad
water to the recent spill in Charleston was all I needed to jump-start this
Read the New Yorker article “Chemical Valley” here:
All proceeds from this inaugural Short Order Sessions track will benefit
AWARE, Artists Working in Alliance to Restore the Environment. AWARE’s
statement of purpose is: to raise awareness of environmental issues and raise
money to distribute to existing environmental organizations in West Virginia.,
I had already been approached by friends in WV about the need for songs to
sing, and so I was glad to come up with this ditty and the motto:

Welcome to my musical kitchen. I’ve long viewed musical arrangements as
recipes,and know well that music feeds the heart and soul. Short Order
Sessions cooks up fresh sounds and delivers them while they’re still hot.
You can find Short Order Sessions tracks under my name on all your digital
outlets including iTunes and Amazon. Starting in February new tracks will be
released on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Ranging from rare
live performances and obscurities from various compilations to one-off jams
in my music room, Short Order Sessions will keep you fed with new audio soul
food. My pan is seasoned and the pantry’s stocked, so come for a visit and
tell your friends about -Tim…/ref=sr

Chemical Valley - The New Yorker
On the morning of Thursday, January 9, 2014, the people of Charleston, West
Virginia, awoke to a strange tang in the air off the Elk River. It smelled
like licorice. The occasional odor is part of life in Charleston, the state
capital, which lies in an…

Personally, I think the album format is still the best way to release new music. I think the majority of people downloading singles don’t care much about the artist or the listening experience, they just like that one song. When I listen to music, I either put on an album and listen to it the entire way through or I listen to a live concert download or stream.

I love hearing Tim’s new stuff, but I hope he’ll put it on a well thought out album instead of just releasing a song at a time.

I agree . I still call cds albums . Most of the albums I listen to I like 90% of them . I LOVE the live stuff . Just can’t get enough of them . I listen to music on Rhapsody and usually buy and download the whole album . I do miss the liner notes too . Times ah changing . I really hope Tim O’Brien makes a full album out of these sessions . From what I’ve heard , it sounds great .