Duo set for Char­lot­te­town show

The For­tu­nate Ones ride wave of suc­cess fol­low­ing launch of ‘The Bliss’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Sally Cole Sally Cole is an en­ter­tain­ment writer with The Guardian. She wel­comes com­ments about her col­umn as well as sug­ges­tions for fu­ture col­umns from read­ers. She may be reached at scole@the­guardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.

The For­tu­nate Ones will be play­ing a con­cert at The Mack on Jan. 21. Meet this Cana­dian pop-folk duo (singer/gui­tarist An­drew James O’Brien and singer/pi­anist/ac­cor­dion player Cather­ine Al­lan) and have a chance to win tick­ets to their show in Sally Cole’s Stage­door col­umn on

Any­one who at­tended East Coast Mu­sic Week in Char­lot­te­town in 2014 might re­mem­ber the For­tu­nate Ones per­form­ing on the New­found­land-Labrador show­case stage.

Com­prised of Cather­ine Al­lan on vo­cals, keys and An­drew James O’Brien on vo­cals, gui­tars and per­cus­sion, their sin­cer­ity and sim­plic­ity in­stantly con­nected them with au­di­ence mem­bers.

The pop-folk duo was start­ing out.

And their sweet har­monies made for a mem­o­rable evening.

From th­ese early be­gin­nings un­til now, band mem­bers have taken some gi­ant strides.

Af­ter pick­ing up Dan Led­well, an award-win­ning record pro­ducer, they recorded their de­but al­bum, “The Bliss” at his stu­dio in Lake Echo, N.S.

Then, af­ter sit­ting on it for about a year, it was re­leased on Old Farm Pony Records, the la­bel founded by singer-song­writer Rose Cousins.

“Our team mem­bers made us re­al­ize how much work it takes to get it on the na­tional scene, like we wanted to. And that’s what I think made it flour­ish,” says Al­lan.

With the coun­try watch­ing, the al­bum gave them the break they needed. Two songs, “Lay Me Down” and the ti­tle track, “The Bliss” reached No. 1 on CBC Ra­dio 2’s Top 20 in 2015.

The 11-track CD also re­ceived pos­i­tive re­views from across the coun­try.

“There are con­tem­po­rary touches on the al­bum’s sound, but the emo­tional hon­esty we ex­pect from New­found­land artists is cer­tainly au­di­ble here,” states Kerry Doole from new­cana­di­an­mu­sic.ca. “O’Brien re­leased an ear­lier solo al­bum, the ECMA-nom­i­nated 2011’s ‘Song For Searchers’, and it hinted at

just the po­ten­tial re­al­ized here.”

With so many good things hap­pen­ing for them, Al­lan has been count­ing her lucky stars.

“The stars have re­ally aligned for us ever since we re­leased our al­bum. We’ve been su­per lucky. We’ve also been work­ing re­ally hard.”

They’ve also been count­ing their bless­ings.

“We’ve been re­ally for­tu­nate to work with some re­ally awe­some peo­ple who have sup­ported us. So we’re re­ally lucky and re­ally ex­cited about the things that are hap­pen­ing to us,” says the singer/ ac­cor­dion player, adding the For­tu­nate Ones is thrilled to be re­turn­ing to Char­lot­te­town to play a sold-out show at The Mack on Thurs­day, Jan. 21.

Be­sides be­ing band mates, the mu­si­cians are a ro­man­tic cou­ple. O’Brien was pre­vi­ously a solo artist, re­leas­ing his al­bum, “Songs for Searchers” in 2011 with Al­lan one of the backup singers. The al­bum won him three New­found­land and Labrador awards.

Al­lan has a de­gree in French stud­ies from Me­mo­rial Univer­sity and has also worked as a flight at­ten­dant.

“It’s re­ally won­der­ful to work to­gether. We see ev­ery side of each other, the good, the bad and the ugly. Luck­ily we work re­ally well to­gether and we have dif­fer­ent roles so we stay out of each other’s hair,” says Al­lan, with a laugh.


An­drew James O’Brien and Cather­ine Al­lan show their on­stage chem­istry dur­ing a re­cent per­for­mance. Known as the For­tu­nate Ones, the pop-folk band will per­form at a sold out con­cert at the Mack in Char­lot­te­town later this month.

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