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'Have Harmony, Will Travel' Review

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Have Harmony, Will Travel Maurice Hope of the Flying Shoes Review (interestingly a self-proclaimed 'experiment in Multimedia Journalism' that features commentary on "Americana, Power Pop, Blues, Country, Folk and Beyond") reviewed 'Have Harmony, Will Travel' - read the review here (quoted from flyinshoes.ning.com) or check out the original Flyinshoes Review review page for other reviews and more...

Flyinshoes Review
June 11, 2013
"Have Harmony, Will Travel"
Carla Olson
Continental Coast / CSR Records

American roots rock act, Texas gal Carla Olson after spending the last ten plus years working on other people's album as a producer has her first album out since her 2001 release The Ring Of Truth. Olson has enjoyed a roller coaster career. From the start she was creative, performing punk with Kathy Valentine and the all-girl band, the Violators. Before Valentine and her formed the Textones. During which time they made two albums, and had no lesser people than Ry Cooder and Don Henley lend support. It didn't stop there either as duet albums with Byrds act Gene Clark and former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor followed amidst her solo albums.

Olson's playing of Rickenbacker guitar, songwriting (Percy Sledge, Eric Johnson) and producer, Paul Jones being one of the most recent to benefit from her prowess in the department has been her life. Ever since she was old enough to go into bars. A brilliant arranger, Olson knew what she wanted on each and every song and she gets it too. For not only does she sound good, vocally, but those with her do too! There is so much great playing, as small and not so small vignettes are within the bigger picture it would take all day to mention all the good things that happen (but I'll try my best). As for her selection of songs there are one or two pleasant surprises as in Wayland Holyfield / Don Williams' 'Til The Rivers All Run Dry'; on which she has I See Hawks In LA vocalist Rob Waller join her and sound like he has sung it since birth! Likewise is the case when the two join forces on a song from Don's days with the Pozo Seco Singers ('Look What You've Done') as they sing their hearts out. It isn't the one and only time the listener enjoys two people perform like they were having a great time, because it is a common occurrence on this album. Olson is quoted in the liner notes saying, singing and playing is the real joy in my life. However, doing so with friends is the greatest joy of all. And, boy can't you tell.

1970s -1980s chart act, Juice Newton also guests on two cuts 'as do, likewise Peter Case, John York (Byrds) while Poco's Richie Furay lends his erstwhile vocals to Gene Clark's 'She Don't Care About Time' (as do influential pickers Richard Podolor, mandolin; York, 12-string guitar...etc). York may not have been one of the more memorable names on one's lips when the Byrds are mentioned, but he makes his mark here. First on Paul Kennerley's 'The First In Line' and then on P.F Sloan's 'Upon A Painted Ocean'. There are others too of note as Olson hits the floor running on a particularly strong version of 'You Can Come Crying To Me' (Radney Foster), and on delving back into music's archives Buddy Holly's 'Love's Made A Fool Of You' (with James Intveld on lead vocals and Holly-esque electric guitar) and Case's amazing working of Del Shannon's 'Keep Searchin'. Scott Kempner is in fine form on Steven Van Zandt's driven 'All I Needed Was You' but even when Olson takes a backseat approach, since she has a guest vocalist on each track the album really comes alive when she takes up the reins. In the words of Intveld's song 'Stringin' Me On' you get the feeling she has been doing this to us for years! Because Carla Olson is a top act and should be better known. Maybe this record will do just that. She certainly knows how to take control in the friendliest kind of way and commands respect of her peers.

Reviewer: Maurice Hope
...see more at Flyinshoes Review


All reviews:
New album: Have Harmony, Will Travel:
Top 100 C.B.   No Depression   Huffington Post   The Alternative Root   Flyinshoes   BealeStreet   TBD   TBD   TBD  

Gene Clark and Carla Olson: In Concert reviews: at Flagpole.com   at Folkwax   at Goldmine   at PopMatters  

other album reviews:
Blue Xmas   Ring of Truth   Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute  
Detroit '85 and Too Hot For Snakes  

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