OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    Fortunate Ones

    Original and raw, the Fortunate Ones are on the top list of bands to hear.  The Juno nominated, Canadian Folk Music duo Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien are connecting with audiences around the globe through their sultry mosaics and mystical melodies.

    Much like the island they come from, their songs have a solitary resonance that seems to take you away, heal you, have you work it out, or provide you with insight and hope.  Incredible to hear and even better to watch in concert, Fortunate Ones are a must see.

    How did the name of the band come to be? Andrew says, “We consider ourselves fortunate to pursue our dreams. Fortunate Ones reflects shared experiences with audiences. It is about connecting people of all kinds, to make strangers friends, to elicit feelings of joy, hope, sadness, and contemplation – and the spirit that we are all in this together.”

    Interviewing Catherine and Andrew, it’s easy to see how connected and in tune they are with each other. Catherine says, “I feel grateful that Andrew saw so much in me, so long ago. I wouldn’t be in this life without Andrew.”

    Andrew says, “Catherine works tirelessly to make the band work, seek out new opportunities and develop the business.  She has such a desire to build, test limits, work on new material and keep growing. She’s also good at seeing when I’m running low on creativity and desire, and she kicks me in the butt, and then I can keep working. She also cooks great Curry!”

    When East meets West: How They Met

    On a rainy August day in 2009, Andrew introduced himself to Catherine at a music festival called East Meets West. Perhaps that serendipity thing was happening again because as the name would suggest, Catherine Allan, is from Cornerbrook on the west coast of Newfoundland and Andrew O’ Brien is from the east coast of Newfoundland in Mt. Pearl.

    How did they meet? They sang together at a party at Andrew’s apartment and then Andrew invited Catherine to sing a few tunes with him at the Ship Inn. Jokingly Andrew said, “If we learn a few songs you won’t have to pay cover.”  And that was it, their life of singing was born that day.

    Catherine Allan says, “Being a Newfoundlander means everything to us.  All our special moments started here.  We are from here, and it’s a big part of our music and who we are.”

    Andrew says, “Everyone knows about the work ethic required to be successful in Newfoundland. Our challenges and economic adversities are an opportunity to put your head down, get working and create great things. We’ve always been told that we could do whatever we wanted, but we always knew that it came with hard work.”

    Career and Travel

    “One of the greatest gifts this career has given me, is that we’ve met so many artists that we were fans of, who have now become our peers. People who we admired and it’s now reciprocated.  People like Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary, Rebecca Cohen, Jill and Mathew Barber, Allan Doyle, Buffy Sainte-Marie, were all our heroes. Now they are friends.  Validation is not the end goal, but it is rewarding, says Andrew.

    Speaking to Catherine and Andrew, you are acutely aware that they barely recognize how talented they truly are. Fortunate Ones have developed songs that reach into your heart and speak to the essence of who we are as people.  Songs reflect the passage and effect of time.  They are deep feeling songs that resonate with the challenges and sadness we go through in life and the balance we strive for in overcoming them.  The lyrics resonate with what we know to be true about the duality of our nature and the fight for the ever-evolving constant state of improvement. Reflective, deep and emotionally stirring, the song’s colour our palate for life.

    The word I would use to describe Fortunate One’s music is inspirational.  IN-SPIRIT-IONAL clearly means to be “IN SPIRIT, and without getting into a religious connotation, this music reflects the heart and feelings we all have.

    Andrew says, “A lot of my songs come from turmoil, and trying to find a balance in life when obstacles come into play.  Think about going to bed and how the anxieties of the day cause you to lose sleep and you try to grapple with those things. I write about the things that cause us to lose sleep. To tell you the truth, I just don’t find happy songs that interesting.  In fact, I don’t know many people with ambition who are completely satisfied.”

    Catherine says, “Sometimes the hard stuff is the most inspirational and one of the most rewarding things we do is affect people in incredible ways. Sometimes there’s comfort, healing or solace in the songs and we feel grateful that people relate to that.”

    Far reaching and successful, the album “The Bliss” is becoming a household CD in Canada.  Hit songs from the album include; Lay Me Down, Carry On, The Bliss, and more.  With the success of this album, they are now excited to say they are working on the next one. Can’t wait!

    The Light Will Come, is one of my favourite songs on the album.  You only need to read the lyrics to understand the poetic justice of this compilation.  Their lyrics are almost too powerful for paper to hold but thankfully the music they have composed carries it from the mind to the heart and then asks for your soul.

    Check them out: Fortunateones.ca

    fortunate ones

    Lyrics – A Light Will Come

    Show me the way to get through to you

    I’m running out of ideas; it’s all I can do

    I’m trying to prove that my aim is still true

    But my words like old arrows are broken and used

    I’ve spent near half my life mining for gold

    And now I’m up to my neck; I’m still digging that hole

    I’m too deep to hear what you’re trying to say

    I’m scared to lose what I got if I got out of your way

    And all through the day

    We dream of the words we could say

    And before too long

    A light will come

    You can’t live for yourself on the far side of good

    And try to use what you got like you said that you would

    Step back from a forest, all you have is the trees

    And seeds of doubt that you plant float away with the breeze

    Chorus

    So hold on if you can

    Cause I’d give my whole heart for the touch of your hand

    A cold silhouette reaching out for the sun

    A light will come

    So what’s there to do when you see what you got

    And then your mind knocks you out with all the things you have not

    Succumb to the light, and it’s easy to choose

    When you learn that the things that you love you can lose

    Chorus

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