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Gerald O'Brien Offers ole Creative Exchange

There must be something in the water in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. ole has already recruited one extremely talented writer from the area in Ben Dunk. So where does Gerald O'Brien originally hail from?

You guessed it.

Now if you're not familiar with the city, you might need a map to find it. And if you're not familiar with the numerous musical styles and capabilities of Gerald O'Brien, no worries there either: he's all over the map.

He's a full-fledged partner in the instrumental duo Exchange with fellow keyboardist Steve Sexton, recording five albums for New York label Mesa Blue Moon and enjoying Billboard Top 10 chart success with its 1991 album Between Places.

He's an accomplished musician both in the studio and on the road, with touring and recording credits that include Klaatu, Long John Baldry, Glass Tiger, Strange Advance, Luba, The Partland Brothers, Surrender, Wrabit and Alfie Zappacosta on his resume, as well as opening slots for Rush, The Joe Perry Project and Black Sabbath.

He's a world-class songwriter, receiving a SOCAN Classic Award for co-writing the Amanda Marshall hit "Birmingham " (with David Tyson, another member of the ole family) symbolizing 100,000 airplays on Canadian radio. He's also co-written the Daryl Hall/John Oates hit "Don't Hold Back Your Love," which peaked at No.4 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, that was also covered by Australian artist Daryl Braithwaite and earned O'Brien a Canadian Music Publisher's Association Song Of The Year Award.

He's a top-notch producer, overseeing recording projects by Deborah Harry, Manhattan Transfer and The Nylons to name a few.

He's composed scores, cues and songs for such TV and film productions as The Tournament, The Hippo Tub, Baywatch Nights, the Stephen J. Cannell worldwide syndicated series Cobra, the animated series The Legend Of Prince Valiant and the Rebecca DeMornay-Antonio Banderas motion picture flick Never Talk To Strangers. And those cues you've heard on Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, Extra, The Insider and The Ellen DeGeneres Show?

You guessed it: Gerald O'Brien.

Currently based in Nashville, it probably won't come as much of a surprise to you that after conquering the pop, rock, new age, film and lV worlds, that O'Brien is setting his sights on country.

"I did produce an album for country singer Kiara Lee, which is sort of how I got to Nashville," says O'Brien, who estimates he's written between 400 and 500 songs over his lifetime. "Right now we're sitting on a song for Trace Adkins and have holds on material by Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Diamond Rio."

Given the nature of his work, it's no surprise that O'Brien feels he specializes in one particular aspect of songwriting: the melody.

"I'm more of a track and melody guy," says O'Brien, who was also a Balmur Publishing staff for a few years in the late '90s. "I do co-write some lyrics, but not a lot, mainly because I work with such great lyricists. But attractive melodies and production and development ideas are my forte."

So if you're looking for a songwriter and composer who knows the ropes, has a proven flair for genre adaptability and an enviable track record in providing scores, cues, themes and tunes for high profile film and television projects, who you gonna call?

You guessed it: Gerald O'Brien.

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