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Mark Olson
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Mark Olson is a pathfinder, one of the true leaders of a movement, a genuine seminal artist, a musician and performer who changed music. He is a critically acclaimed songwriter/musician on Glitterhouse Records and Red Eye Worldwide.
Mark Olson is a pathfinder, one of the true leaders of a movement, a genuine seminal artist, a musician and performer who changed music. He is a critically acclaimed songwriter/musician on Glitterhouse Records and Red Eye Worldwide.

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Mark Olson, Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun. If you lost track of Mark Olson after he left the Jayhawks, you’re missing a lot of music that is as good as or better than any that that fine group produced. A good place to start catching up is the exquisite new Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun, Olson’s first album in three years, which he recorded in collaboration with his wife Ingunn Ringvold. She provides harmony vocals and gorgeous string arrangements and plays Mellotron, among other instruments; Olson adds guitar and dulcimer, and there’s also a percussionist and a bassist. As for the lyrics, they’re as cryptic as the album’s title. “Hello to the four o’clock family / Hello to the one that lives there,” goes a typical verse. “…Burgundy sun shower, where is life / Death Valley soda pop cool down dream.” Huh? Fortunately, the music—which hovers somewhere between alt-country and 60s folk/rock psychedelia—is a whole lot more accessible. #markolson #nodepression +nodepression

http://nodepression.com/album-review/van-morrison-tackles-great-american-songbook
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Mark Olson, Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun. If you lost track of Mark Olson after he left the Jayhawks, you’re missing a lot of music that is as good as or better than any that that fine group produced. A good place to start catching up is the exquisite new Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun, Olson’s first album in three years, which he recorded in collaboration with his wife Ingunn Ringvold. She provides harmony vocals and gorgeous string arrangements and plays Mellotron, among other instruments; Olson adds guitar and dulcimer, and there’s also a percussionist and a bassist. As for the lyrics, they’re as cryptic as the album’s title. “Hello to the four o’clock family / Hello to the one that lives there,” goes a typical verse. “…Burgundy sun shower, where is life / Death Valley soda pop cool down dream.” Huh? Fortunately, the music—which hovers somewhere between alt-country and 60s folk/rock psychedelia—is a whole lot more accessible.
#markolson #spokeswomanofthebrightsun

http://www.themortonreport.com/entertainment/album-reviews-versatile-van-morrison-plus-mark-olson-michael-johnathon-ethiopian-his-all-stars-and-more/
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Mark Olson Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun Review:
"Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun more often calls to mind such names as the Incredible String Band (the title track especially), Love and 60s baroque chamber pop outfit The Left Banke, paisley pop psychedelia rippling through the likes of the strings dripping Time of Love and the hand percussion-led ‘Mary Frances Strong’, combining the two on the tumbling lovely opener ‘Dear Elisabeth’.

Inspired by the Mojave Desert near where they live, it’s a warm, summery album wafting on ethereal breezes, some, as on the closing ‘Soda Pop Cool Down Dream’, blowing in from Eastern Europe, cooling Olson’s reflective and often spiritual coloured lyrics. The whimsical ‘Seminole Valley Tea Sippers Society’ is especially redolent of the summer of love with its tinkling keys and baroque melody while ‘Gravity Loss ‘and ‘Nicola’, with its pizzicato strings, both hark to those ISB influences in their quivering vocals delivery and melodic structures. The same holds true of the penultimate ‘All My Days’, although it offers a slightly different texture with its scratchy handclaps rhythms."
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Mark Olson "Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun"
"Graceful, melancholic romance. Gorgeous vintage."
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Mark Olson Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun Review:
"The title track 'Spokeswoman of the Bright Sky' is epic.
Americana? This is the real deal. 'Spokeswoman' is a lyrical and poetic album."
-Keith How

Mark Olson surfaced as a songwriter of note when The Jayhawks emerged crossing post-punk with “new” country in a genre we now call 'Americana'. Olson later formed the much loved Original Harmony Creekdippers along with Victoria Williams and a caravan of guests who were responsible for a series of truly remarkable albums including 'My Own Jo Ellen' and 'Mystic Theatre'. It could be said Olson’s lo-fi approach spawned a new generation of songwriters such as Iron and Wine, Bon Iver and the like. Olsen re-appears after a three year hiatus accompanied by his wife and musical collaborator Ingunn Ringvold to deliver 'Spokeswoman of the Bright Sky'.

The couple live at Joshua Tree ,California and the album was written and recorded at their home. From the opening song 'Dear Elisabeth' in which the listener is greeted by Olson’s trademark wistful vocals and Ringvold’s harmonies the feeling is one of intimacy. Clearly a step up from Creekdipper recordings, Olson’s experience and confidence is obvious.

'Dear Elisabeth' immediately sets the scene. It is warm and gentle. Lewis Keller’s bass provides a subtle grounding and we get a first taste of Ringvold’s skills with string arrangements. Olsen croons a rather yearning philosophical poem. 'Time of Love' has a lovely alt.country pace and unusual solo conjuring up images of sparse desert highways. The title track 'Spokeswoman of the Bright Sky' is epic. Haunting strings combine with a folky psychedelic panorama filled with strange images of “tear games” and “purple stones”.

'Spokeswoman' is a lyrical and poetic album. Filled with gently strummed guitars, dulcimer, bass and mellotron the ambience is spacious and reflective. The lyrics are peppered with unusual imagery, such as “pear blossom traffic lights” and ”tall buildings in Iowa” for instance. A harpsichord seems to feature in the very 60’s influenced 'Seminole Valley Tea Sippers Society', a song that flows along happily. The lyrics seem a little obscure but are in keeping with the nature of the composition.

This new album finds Mark Olson in a seemingly philosophical frame of mind. The relaxed and contemplative feel of the record asks big questions. "Where am I going?” he wonders on 'Gravity Lost', which features a lovely flute laden fade-out . Ruminations over life’s journey on the superb 'All Of My Days'. There is an economy about the album. Songs are short, uncomplicated yet inventive and without ever breaking sweat have that certain something that reflects the intimate and relaxed atmosphere in which they were recorded. The final cut on the album 'Death Valley Soda Pop Cool Down Dream' leaves you with the question “Where is Life” . This seems a rhetorical question as the gentle hazy psychedelic country flavour of these songs leave you with the feeling that Olson, despite his musings, has found what life is all about .

Americana? This is the real deal.

-Keith How
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Mark Olson Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun Review:"Americana? This is the real deal. 'Spokeswoman' is a lyrical and poetic album"
#pennyblackmusic #markolson
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Mark Olson album 'Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun' window display by the artist Chris Monroe for Treehouse Records. An old school way to promote a beautiful, melodic album. A good-bye souvenir from us to So. Mpls and the Treehouse Records store. We are leaving for Australia. #treehouserecords #markolson #chrismonroe #minneapolis #album #art
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30.08.2017
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“With Olson’s work there is innocence, melancholy and often beautiful melody, which is accentuated by his partner’s chamber “string” arrangements on mellotron. The lyrics are profound… The music carries real charm” - Irish Times #irishtimes +Ingunn Ringvold
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