Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tim O'Brien "blown away" by Grammy

I reached Tim O'Brien for comment after he won his first Grammy award last week. Here's the interview:

What is your reaction to winning the award for best traditional folk album?
I didn't realize how much I wanted to win a Grammy. I've been nominated three previous times but not won. My mode has been to work toward it but try not to be attached to winning or losing. Basically, it knocked the wind out of me. I turned into a blubbering fool. I even hugged [Austin City Limits producer] Terry Lickona backstage and I hardly know him!

You were present in Los Angeles to accept the award. What was the gist of what you said?
I said I was blown away and that I guess you spin the wheel enough times you might come out on top. I thanked my fellow nominees and everyone that helped with the project, especially engineer Gary Paczosa, who in his capacity also won with John Prine and Alison Krauss. Then I thanked my late mother for her unconditional love and support.

What does winning the award mean for your career?
It validates it. You run around the same track with other people who are going a lot faster, and sometimes you wonder if you're making any progress. I know I am, but this is one thing that really underlines that. I think a few more people are coming to the shows already.

Do you see it as a recognition of the excellence of Fiddler's Green or of the body of your work?
I think it's mostly notice of the body of work, though the record stands up to the competition I think. I'm lucky I didn't compete in Bluegrass, because I think lots of those folks I'd normally competing with in that category voted for me in Traditional Folk. It feels legit, though, because I beat the Chieftains, and they have a lot of corporate votes.

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