BIO old


“Wherever you go / Go with all your heart / The way that you planned it at the start”

Fortunate Ones

Fortunate Ones are a Newfoundland indie folk duo composed of Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien. Through dynamic, high-energy, harmony entwined performances, and songs that celebrate the resilience of the human spirit, they are endearing audiences across Canada and beyond. Their 2016 debut album “The Bliss” was nominated for a JUNO Award, garnered two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20, won the 2016 “Rising Star” ECMA, the 2015 “Vocal Group” Canadian Folk Music Award, and four 2015 Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards. Fortunate Ones’ sophomore album, produced by Daniel Ledwell, is slated for release in 2018.
Since the release of their debut album The Bliss in 2015, Fortunate Ones has brought their wide-eyed energy, pragmatic optimism, and earnest mission for connection to stages throughout Canada, the US and Europe, making relentless touring a hallmark of their young career.
Andrew and Catherine grew up on opposite sides of the island of Newfoundland – Mount Pearl and Corner Brook respectively. It was in St. John’s where the pair met and began to sing together. One night in 2010, Andrew heard Catherine sing harmony with her brother at a private gathering in downtown St John’s. He had to sing with her. The next day he got up the nerve, left her a note, she acquiesced, and within 48 hours they were singing together on stage. While it was a road from that evening to the formation of Fortunate Ones in 2013, their beginnings are in keeping with one of the core messages they carry. That sometimes the most important decision you can make is to just say YES.

From a musical family, the Allan home was a constant eclectic flow of instruments, singing and the stereo. Catherine studied classical piano, taught herself guitar in secret, and discovered the accordion by chance when her brother brought one home over Christmas in 2011. Musical exploration was the norm. After moving to St. John’s, Catherine’s induction to the East Coast music scene was rapid – performing with Andrew, recording and touring extensively with JUNO award-winning songwriter Amelia Curran, and appearing at festivals with Curran and East Coast songwriter Don Brownrigg.

Andrew James O’Brien launched his music career with a well-received solo album Songs for Searchers (2011) – nominated for Best Pop Recording at the 2012 East Coast Music Awards. He toured heavily in Canada and the UK, opening for artists such as Sharon Shannon and Paul Brady. Catherine accompanied him. It was on a UK tour that they realized the direction their collaboration was taking. The appreciation shown by UK audiences bolstered the pair’s sense of purpose. Their music began to evolve to represent both of their sensibilities, skills and sounds.

“We put a name on something that was naturally occurring, and then we took steps to follow it up. We would share equal duties vocally, musically, and conversing with the audience. It wasn’t Andrew James O’Brien with Catherine Allan anymore – it was already Fortunate Ones.”

Plain and simple, they consider themselves fortunate to pursue their dreams. Their name reflects shared experience 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.

 Released on JUNO award winning Rose Cousins’ record label Old Farm Pony Records and produced by multi-ECMA winner Daniel Ledwell at Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, The Bliss was nominated for the 2016 JUNO Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year and garnered two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20. Fortunate Ones won the 2016 ECMA for Rising Star of the Year, the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year,  four 2015 Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards, and was nominated for the 2016 International Folk Music Award for Artist of the Year.

“Eastern Canada is known for producing great talent, bolstered by a supportive community. The Atlantic Provinces have a unique advantage of being close knit and kindred. We want to help each other succeed. Fortunate Ones have created a beautiful debut in THE BLISS. They’re just getting started and are already ahead. I’m excited to welcome this very talented duo to Old Farm Pony Records.”
-Rose Cousins

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