"Few are capable of spinning such colorful and multi-layered yarns with so little excess fat. On this fine new release, Olney spans the gamut from OBSTREPEROUS* GLEE to NAKED TERROR."
-American Songwriter Magazine
"Olney stands out LIKE A JALEPENO IN A BOWL OF VANILLA PUDDING in Nashville."
-William Michael Smith, Houston Press (TX)
Thanks to an email, I have spent most of my post-work evening listening to the absolutely stirring songs of David Olney. His concerts are often remembered by their music-loving attendees as if anyone who wasn't there must have woken up on Lady Luck's bad side. I kind of agree.
I told my wife tonight about the times I took dates to see him do his thing at venues like 12th and Porter, Douglas Corner and The Bluebird Cafe. The dates would tell me later that they went just because they liked me and were good sports. Before: "David who? Okay, Michael." Afterward: "Wow! David Olney, right? I need to buy his CD. Oh, and what's your name again? Mark, right?"
Some songs seem to come to us exactly when we need to hear them most. David Olney's "Jerusalem Tomorrow" was one of those songs. I don't know the year, but it was maybe 1991 when I was sitting in front of my little guy's house waiting for the court-appointed time for me to knock on his door and take him out with me for a little bonding time. I was early and left to wait for time to do its thing as I sat in my car while listening to WRLT. On came "Jerusalem Tomorrow" and I was hooked. I was jotting down lyrics so that I could call the station later and find out whose voice belonged to this mysterious and prolific song. Gone was the "woe is me" and here was the "who was that?" ( I have since decided that "Jerusalem Tomorrow" would have fit perfectly on the Leap Of Faith soundtrack. If you've seen the movie, check the lyrics and tell me you don't agree.)
I've read about his famous show at Douglas Corner when the power went out and instead of canceling the show he played acoustically to a room full of music fans and lit candles. I bet the magic in the air that night was, as they say, palpable. I've felt touches of that magic when hearing David Olney sing his wonderful songs at various venues over the years.
So if you ever get a chance to see David Olney in concert, jump at that opportunity. And if you are ever asked what your favorite concerts are and you've never seen David Olney, then go ahead with your list but note that there is room for error. Then jump at your next opportunity to see him live. He's on my list.
1. Tom Waits
2. Peter Himmelman
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. Dave Olney
*Note to self: Look up "obstreperous."