These Blues Will Help Us All

Mark Olson - The Salvation Blues

It's kind of a misnomer to call Mark Olson's new CD a comeback. His albums as a Creekdipper had plenty of good material on them, although they certainly had a more lo-fi, organic feel. It'd be more accurate to call this a homecoming. It's a return to the lush, full sound that made the Jayhawks arguably the most important and influential band to come out of the alt-country movement. It's also easily Mark's best work since Tomorrow The Green Grass, his last album with the Jayhawks. The songs, informed by the breakup of his marriage to Victoria Williams and the loss of his band and his home, are both mournful and hopeful. They have a gravity to them, but they never wallow in self-pity. And the presence of Gary Louris' harmonies on three tracks is a reminder that the two of them together are one of the all time great vocal pairings (and it whets the appetite for their planned album together next year). If you're an old Jayhawks fan who's lost track of what Mark's been doing over the past decade, this album will remind you of why you loved his music in the first place.

Mark Olson - "Clifton Bridge" (mp3)
Mark Olson - "National Express" (mp3)


clifton bridge: there's a great song somewhere in there, but why repeat the hook like a mantra? and what's with those lame lyrics?
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