In 1990, Tim O’Brien joined country star and CMA Female Vocalist award-winner Kathy Mattea on the romantic “Battle Hymn of Love,” which set vows of eternal commitment to a gentle acoustic bluegrass background. Now, nearly three decades later, O’Brien offers another sweet Valentine in “Amazing Love,” a song he penned with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.
Full of sweet, heart-pulsing imagery and dreamy harmony vocals by Jan Fabricius, “Amazing Love” bursts forth with romantic proclamation and grateful appreciation as the pair sing, “I see you through the window before I turn the key, I thank the Lord he gave your amazing love to me.”
O’Brien’s collaboration with Auerbach, facilitated by musician and studio engineer Dave Ferguson, began at an Easter barbecue and picking party at O’Brien’s home several years ago.
“I had a campfire going in the backyard,” O’Brien tells Rolling Stone Country. “We were all playing when another friend was driving away and knocked over my son’s motor scooter. Jackson’s helmet rolled between our legs like a severed head in the pickin’ circle, and she yelled out her window, ‘I’ve got good insurance, call me!’ as she drove away. It’s nice that Dan still talks to me after that!”
“I was so happy to get the chance to write with Tim,” says Auerbach. “I’m such a big fan of his. I’m even happier the song made the album.”
On the forthcoming album Tim O’Brien Band, the versatile songwriter and instrumentalist, and one of the most powerful forces in acoustic music, maintains a solid bluegrass footing while also occasionally veering off onto unexpected, exploration-worthy paths.
Other musicians on “Amazing Love” include fiddle player Shad Cobb, bassist Mike Bub and banjo picker Patrick Sauber. Tim O’Brien Band will be available March 15th.