Maureen O’Brien – Undercovered


5 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: TN2543-72 Category:


Maureen O’Brien – Undercovered

CD review by Tony Smith

TN2543-72 – $20

TN160 Dec 23

For this album Maureen O’Brien supplies guitar, vocals and keys and is supported by Robbie Long on bass, drums, guitars and dobro.

Kartriona Hamilton sings ‘Wanna Be …’ and Rus Redford supplies blues harp.

Di Denham plays clarinet.

Robbie Long co-produced the album with O’Brien as well as recording, mixing and mastering at Sound Ideas Newcastle.

While the tracks might seem dated, the way it fits into the blues tradition makes them timeless.

‘Day Is Done’ is a classic blues number in which harmonica and piano combine remarkably well.

The singer worries all day and lets the blues carry her away.

There is a fine rallentando at the end.

‘Play’ happens around Christmas.

It has excellent guitar and vocal harmony.

Here is a hint of Aussie accent and possibly a ‘Swanee whistle’.

‘Wise Woman’, another in classic blues style, has walking bass and a dramatic pause in the chorus.

‘Carrying Burdens’ opens with some impeccable clarinet.

The track highlights O’Brien’s voice as she invites us to ‘drink from my cup and let the devil ride by’.

It is about sheltering ‘till the dawn.

‘Fancy That’ suggests that in this lucky country you can be anything you want to be.

The backing has walking the keys and the harmonica again is brilliant.

‘Grey Day in Melbourne’ is a recitative track opening with guitar and drums.

There are some original thoughts in this poetic song.

The grey background allows colours in clothing and characters to stand out.

‘Wanna Be …’ ‘We are not entirely sure what we should want to be when we ‘grow up’ – just ‘something’ will do’.

Rob Long cleverly supplies guitar, bass and drums and Kartriona Hamilton provides vocal variety.

Someone is ‘All Dressed Up’ with nowhere to go.

‘Never mind, she is battery powered’.

This song echoes Delta Blues style.

The Dobro is a neat addition and O’Brien shows excellent control of rhythm and tempo.

In ‘That’s How It Goes’, the singer was feeling sorry for herself until she heard another’s tale of woe.

Opening with keys, this laid back slow burner would be perfect for that last number when dancers melt into one another.

Wailing harp again features.

O’Brien travels to a gig in ‘Cover Y’er Load’, but finds awkward conditions on the journey.

A cop pulls her over for being a danger on the highway.

She also discovers a lack of ladies’ loos and is forced to improvise.

Though she saw the blue light flashing, she could not stop slashing and was accused of making a creek flow.

‘Cover Y’er Load’ says the cop and O’Brien advises never to turn the other cheek to a country cop.

This song is hilarious.

‘Enigma’ is in cabaret style and in ‘Blessing (Dona Nobis Pacem – grant us peace)’, O’Brien surrenders writing credit to Mozart!

In this magical solo round or canon, O’Brien adds a spoken verse.

O’Brien says that independent musicians appreciate your not copying this album illegally but curse anyone who does.

This will bring ‘hair loss, tooth decay, halitosis, acne, footrot and mad cow repercussions’.

O’Brien also shows a poetic side on the sleeve where she writes: ‘Even the restless spirit finds peace in the joy of music.

‘Like the Earth, the Oceans and the Heavens, it calls to the very essence of who we are and completes us in the rhythm of life’.

Maureen O’Brien’s songs use plain, accessible language with a mischievous sense of humour.

Slower tracks with local references have special appeal.

‘Carrying Burdens’ places her songs in the front rank of writers, arrangers and performers.

No doubt the sensitive support she receives shows the regard in which her work is held.


Maureen O’Brien’s 6th Album “UnderCovered” has been described as a quietly understated homecoming.  It  contains 11 original tracks plus a short prose against the acapella background of Mozart’s Dona Nobis Pacem. Typically, each song is message-driven as is typical of the folk genre, however this album cannot simply be categorised in the ‘folk’ category.  Once again, O’Brien blurs the boundaries between blues/jazz/contemporary folk/ folk-rock as she blends melodies, lyrics and tempo into an eclectic fusion of listening pleasure. She said at the time of its release;  “with this album I wanted to come back to an authentic sound – bring the music back home where it belongs, to the songwriting.

Finally, I am at peace in my skin of Songwriter. Confident that I have nothing to prove.  My songs can stand the test of time for listeners who find what they seek…a song that has meaning to them alone.  What more can a Songwriter ask for?”


Contemporary singer/songwriter and touring performer, Maureen writes from the heart and sings it with passion. An interpretive vocalist, she has a rich, mellow vocal sound and selects material that best suits her vocal style. An evolving songwriter, her current work is a distinctive fusion of Jazz-Folk-Rock.

DivaFever 2015_Dungeon3Maureen has performed in a variety of groups and duos as well as being an accomplished solo performer. Her performances occur in a wide variety of entertainment experiences such as:

  • Tastings on the Terrace (Sunday afternoons in the  vineyards).
  • Wine and food festivals.
  • Music festivals.
  • Restaurants, cocktail functions, ‘lounge bar’ music, restaurants, dinner/theatre shows.
  • Dedicated concerts and Charity events/functions
  • Parties and boutique music sessions.

Live performances with her support bands are dynamic. She likes to give her musicians ‘room to breathe’ so every performance reflects a freedom to explore different approaches to selected material. The line-ups vary as she selects musicians from an extensive pool of talent to suit individual gigs. Her solo performances are described as ‘warm and intimate’.

As a songwriter Maureen writes from the heart and interprets from the soul. She has written and performed Classic Blues and Jazz, Folk-Rock, Jazz-Rock and Contemporary Folk and Blues genres. She has been a multi-finalist in the 1233 ABC Radio Newcastle Music Awards and her second album, Many Shades of Blue, was awarded the prestigious Trad&Now Magazine’s Best CD of 2006 in the Blues and Roots genre. Her third album, Luminous, and fourth album, Ebb & Flow,  received regular airplay throughout community stations across Australia via selection by AMRAP for Album of the Month awards. Tracks from Luminous have also been selected for airplay oversees.

She has recorded single and EP projects for fundraising events, and written and recorded Musical Scores for Theatre works.

Maureen has been writing and performing for more than a decade and is a fully-fledged writer member of the industry association, Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).

Performance History
As a full time musician and creative artiste, Maureen’s performance biography is too extensive to list here.  The fact that she is repeatedly invited back to perform at regular and annual events substantiates her establishment as a high quality entertainer.  If you are considering engaging her services, contact her direct for testimonials


Additional information

Weight .190 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1.0 cm


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Maureen O’Brien – Undercovered”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…