Sean O’Brien is the former lead singer of several California-based rock groups going back in time almost twenty-five years. First was MEANTIME, a power pop quartet that eventually mutated into the Davis, CA psychedelic cowboys, TRUE WEST. Next came DENIM TV, whose two albums, Denim TV and Starving Rich, both broke the CMJ Top 100 in college radio airplay upon release, leading to a very successful national tour.
In 1991, Sean moved to Los Angeles, where he collaborated with math professor and former Angry Samoan Gregg Turner on Sante Fe, by The Mistaken for the independent label Triple X. This winsome CD garnered some pleasant press and appeared in the Top 35 radio airplay in Holland upon release. 1999 saw the release of 12 by The Mariettas, a powerful punk-pop quartet which included former members of several legendary LA-area groups; such as The Leaving Trains, Baby Lemonade and Arthur Lee and Love. 12 drew great notices in the US, as well as in the United Kingdom, in music magazines such as Luke and Bucketful of Brains.
Sean returned to his native Bay Area in 2001. He recorded several new songs acoustically and refined the material for Too Personal, the first solo CD of his career. Sean plays guitars throughout, though two guest musicians do appear on the album. Polly Klemmer, of The Mistaken, plays piano on two tracks. Also, on “The Answer is In”, Sean is joined on acoustic guitar by his old friend Russ Tolman, solo recording artist and former guitarist of TRUE WEST.
In 2006 Sean released Seed of Mayhem, featuring members of all of the above mentioned. That year he formed his permanent group, Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands: featuring Jeff Kane on lead guitar, Bill Davis on Bass, and Matt Shelley on drums. The Dirty Hands recorded their first CD, Goodbye Game, in 2008. In the summer of 2009, Sean released The Drug of Memory, a compilation covering nearly thirty years of recorded work with: The Meantime, True West, Cottonmouth, The Mariettas and some solo work. Most of these tracks are previously unreleased.
In 2010, First Cold Press released a third Denim TV album, “Denim TV – Live at Club Graffiti – 5/30/85″, features several previously unreleased songs. In 2012, Sean released “Future Harvest”, a co-produced with his good friend and musical partner. Jeff Kane passed away shortly after the album was released. A Tribute to Jeffrey Kane digital single was at the end of 2013. The EP features a cover version of “You Tore Me Down” by the Flaming Groovies and “Valerie”, a song written by Jeff Kane. Sean O’Brien and is Dirty Hands released latest album, “Risk Profile” in 2014.
In 2017, Sean released an album of live acoustic performances. "It Was Sad Without You There: Acoustic Sessions" contains tracks from the last several solo records; cover versions, and even an old song by Denim TV. These tracks also include the final recorded performances of the late Jeff Kane.
Also in 2017, the current live band of Greg Lisher of Camper Van Beethoven on guitar; Kevin T. White of Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on Bass, and long-time co-producer/engineer Matt Boudreau on drums will release a new four-song EP, "Mistakes" on April 1, 2017. An additional track recorded at the same sessions, "Old Black Cloud" will be released on September 21, 2017 as a digital single. A promotional video of the track "Sleeping With Me" from the EP was also released.
Physical product available through Bandcamp: https://seanobrienandhisdirtyhands.bandcamp.com/releases
The new album by Sean O'Brien and His Dirty Hands is "My Colors Dark" was released on September 21, 2019. “My Colors Dark” features performances from some highly regarded musicians including: Greg Lisher of Camper Van Beethoven, Damon Wood of Engine 88, John Hanes of Pearl Harbor & The Explosions, Kevin Thomas White of Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, and singer/songwriters Chris Von Sneidern and Laura Benitez, who duets with Sean on the country-tinged ballad “Down The Stairs”. The LP is co-produced once again by Sean’s longtime engineer/producer Matt Boudreau (Seven Day Diary, Sextants).
A limited edition of the vinyl LPs of “My Colors Dark” will include a digital download card for access to two bonus tracks: a cover version of Robyn Hitchcock and the Soft Boys’ classic “Kingdom Of Love”, as well a non-LP track, “Click On”, recorded during the sessions. Vinyl copies can be ordered through Darla.com:
Track listing and rear cover photos: