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Kyle O'Brien 

Musician, Performer, Teacher
Visual Biography
Kyle O’Brien – Musician, Performer, Teacher
Visual Biography
“Kyle O’Brien is soulful and moving, joyful and playful, earnest and skillful… I am so lifted by this artist. The fact that is is 10 years old just blows my mind!” Hazel Miller
The Early Years O’Brien Family Band – Kyle grew up in Evergreen, Colorado, the son of public school teachers and musicians, Dan and Janette O’Brien.
Growing up the O’Briens would take Kyle and his sister, Maura (three years younger), to musical gatherings such as Walnut Valley in Winfield, Kansas, the Annual Country Music Festival in Ainsworth, Nebraska, the International Bluegrass Music festival in Guthrie Oklahoma and Rockygrass in Lyons, Colorado.
Kyle soaked up lots of music at an early age, learning to play the fiddle, mandolin and guitar around the ages of 5-10 years old.
“The Family that Entertains Famlies” – Evergreen Canyon Currier
OBFB Discography – Over the course of 5 years the O’Brien family recorded:
Kyle’s Big Hit
CD and Board Game
A Time To Remember
Old Cars & Old Guitars
The Bluegrass Quartet 2009 While in high school, Kyle and his friends Patrick Dethlefs, Robert Collins and Kyle’s sister, Maura created The Bluegrass Quartet.
The Bluegrass Quartet won their high school’s battle-of-the-bands competition in 2009 and recorded their debut album, Mouse-grass the same year.
College Years University of San Francisco Choosing to head westward for his higher education, Kyle enrolled at USF, located above Haight Street and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.
Between studying classic literature, theology, politics and getting involved with the honor’s society, Kyle also found time to explore the music in San Francisco, including world-class Jazz, Blues and Rock & Roll.
His Junior year, Kyle took an opportunity to study abroad for three terms at the University of Oxford, Blackfriar’s College. While at Oxford he studied philosophy, psychology, rowed for his college and played on the University of Oxford volleyball team.
Kyle graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2013.
The Earl Brothers
Shortly after moving to California, Kyle joined the well-established Bay Area bluegrass band, The Earl Brothers. He would play in the Earl Brothers band for the next 6 years.
The Earl Brothers perform at Wintergrass festival in Bellevue, Washington 2016
Kyle teaches a mandolin workshop at the Northern Lights Fest, Saskatoon, Canada
After graduating from USF, Kyle found himself playing music with Misisipi Mike (sic), country singer-songwriter and guitar player.
The two soon became close friends, bandmates and roommates for several years in the Mission district, San Francisco.
Kyle and Mike perform at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
Kyle and Mike joined west coast country band, The Easy Leaves, taking several tours including trips to Alaska and Tennessee.
While with The Easy Leaves, Kyle performed live at KEXP, at Nelsonville Music Festival, Outlaw Music Festival and Bandit Music Festival.
Kyle recorded on several of The Easy Leaves albums, including Wheels & Fresno.
The Easy Leaves perform at Nelsonville Music Festival, Ohio
Kyle meets his hero, Emmylou Harris, at Nelsonville Music Fest, Ohio
The Easy Leaves perform at Great American Music Hall, SF
Kyle O’Brien performs with Nikki Bluhm
Lucia Comnes Band – Kyle O’Brien also joined Lucia Comnes’ Irish band, performing with her both in the Bay Area, CA and on a tour of Ireland in 2016.
Kyle and Lucia play in a pub in Ireland
Seeing cliffs of Mohr for the first time and Kyle meets Hozier in Dublin
Kyle and Lucia Comnes plays The Ruby Sessions in Dublin, Ireland
Henhouse Prowlers
Chicago Henhouse Prowlers While on tour of Ireland in 2016, Kyle got a call from Jon Goldfine from the Henhouse Prowlers, bluegrass band based in Chicago, IL.
Within a month, Kyle was performing with the Prowlers in Illinois, and soon after, all around the world.
The Henhouse Prowlers are widely considered bluegrass’ hardest working and furthest traveled band.
During Kyle’s three-year tenure with the band he would travel the US extensively, as well as participate in six tours of Europe (totaling 6-months), in countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Poland.
The band also worked with the State Department several times during Kyle’s tenure, making tours of Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia Uzbekistan, Cambodia & Brunei as a bluegrass ambassadors.
In November 2016, the United States’ State Department sent The Henhouse Prowlers on a cultural diplomatic trip to the country of Kyrgyzstan, in Central Asia, Kyle’s first of several diplomatic trips abroad.
Kyrgyzstan The Henhouse Prowlers performance at the Dostuk Music Fest, Kyrgzstan
The Henhouse Prowlers perform with native Kyrgz dancers, Kyrgzstan
Pakistan The Henhouse Prowlers perform in Islamabad, Pakistan
Hamza Akram Qawwal While in Pakistan Kyle got the chance to meet and perform with Hamza Akram, representing the 26th generation (800 years) of the Qawwali tradition within their musical family.
The Henhouse Prowlers visit school girls in Pakistan
Newspaper article on The Henhouse Prowlers tour of Pakistan
In 2017 The Henhouse Prowlers accepted an offer to travel deep into Siberian, Russia as musical ambassadors for the State Department.
They traveled to Russia directly after finishing a tour of Europe, and began traveling and performing with local bands and on local media outlets.
Henhouse Prowlers show off a show poster in Russia
While visiting a remote town in Siberia, Russia, we were treated to a feast of tea and pastries from our hosts, Russian babushkas, many of whom had worked in coal mines most of their lives and now lived together in a supportive community.
Uzbekistan Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival The Henhouse Prowlers were invited to perform at the 2019 Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, representing the United States. One of the largest musical and cultural festivals in Central Asia, Sharq Taronalari is held every two years in Samarkand’s Registan Square since 1997, this festival brings together talented singers, dancers, and musicians to celebrate art from around the world.
The Henhouse Prowlers perform in Samarkand’s Registan Square, Uzbekistan
Kyle teaches a workshop for a music schoool in Uzbekistan
Cambodia Henhouse Prowlers
Angkor Wat Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and is the largest religious monument in the world, Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire by King Suryavarman II, now a “Hindu-Buddhist” temple.
While on Tour of Cambodia, Kyle explored this ancient temple complex and can be seen here guessing which way the river is flowing behind him.
Phnom Penh Henhouse Prowlers perform for a community square in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Siem Reap Teaching a music workshop in Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Back at home in the US, the Henhouse Prowlers began Bluegrass Ambassadors, a non-profit with a mission to bring music from their travels into classrooms and educate children about music around the world.
With Kyle’s support the band brought their educational programming into schools in Chicago, Colorado, and even places such as Germany and the Czech Republic.
Bluegrass Ambassadors teaching in Buffalo, New York
Bluegrass Ambassadors teaching in Saratoga, Wyoming
Bluegrass Ambassadors teaching in Chicago, Illinois
Kyle teaches mandolin at Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival
Kyle gives some mandolin advice to a young student in the Czech Republic
While with The Henhouse Prowlers, Kyle recorded on two albums: Live From Kyrgyzstan and Sparation Man
Chance McCoy Kyle met Chance McCoy (of Old Crow Medicine Show) while on tour with The Henhouse Prowlers in Mepel, Netherlands. The two stayed in touch, and months later Chance agreed to produce a record of Kyle’s original music.
In March, 2020, Country Pie was recorded at Chance’s home-studio in rural, West Virginia.
Kyle O’Brien making breakfast in rural. West Virginia with Chance McCoy
Chance McCoy laying down guitar on Country Pie
Honey Bee
Slippery Slope
Good Old Me
The Fighter
Fox In THe Henhouse
Wish I Was Tougher
Country Pie
Rolling Stoner
Good Time Old Time
Country Pie, produced by Chance McCoy, was released as a full album in 2022
Kyle on tour with Chance McCoy in 2021 supporting the Dead South •9/18 Mars Music Hall Huntsville, AL•9/19 The Mill & Mine Knoxville, TN, •9/20 Iron City Bham Birmingham, AL •9/25 Gateway Arch National Park StLouis, MO •9/26 Des Moines Water Works DesMoines, IA •9/26 Des Moines Water Works DesMoines, IA •9/27 The Sylvee Madison, WI •9/29 House of Blues Chicago Chicago, IL, •9/30 The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI •10/1 Old National Centre Indianapolis, IN
Kyle with Chance McCoy supporting The Dead South, Des Moines, IA
Kyle with Chance McCoy supporting The Dead South, The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
Kyle with Chance McCoy supporting The Dead South, House of Blues, Chicago, IL
Back Home in Colorado After nearly ten years living outside his home state, Kyle moved back to Colorado to be closer to family.
Having traveled to more than 20 different countries and touring thousands of miles, Kyle turned his focus to performing and teaching near where he grew up in Evergreen, Colorado.
The Wrecklunds
The Wrecklunds at Rockygrass Lyons, Colorado
The Wrecklunds perform at Evergreen Lake Concert Series, Evergreen, Colorado
The Wrecklunds perform at Hops and Drops, Evergreen, Colorado
Kyle Performs with The California Honeydrops at Hops and Drops, Evergreen, Colorado
Kyle performs with Lech Wierzynski of The California Honeydrops
Kyle records a fiddle tune video on a frozen Evergreen Lake
Nearly 20 years later, Kyle and his mom, Janette, perform together again for the Country Pie cd release party. Thanks mom!
Kyle and Janette still perform together regularly
Kyle O’Brien Band perform at the Evergreen Lake House concert series 2023
Kyle is still performing and teaching in Colorado, writing songs and working on new projects. You can reach him at or
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