Carla Olson: The Gypsy Rider Returns
When Carla Olson was a young girl growing up in Austin, Texas her musical role models were Mary Travers and Jackie DeShannon. It’s not hard to imagine why. With her rich vocal talent, long blond-hair and the music of the golden era of folk, rock, and country breezing through the Texas airwaves there would be little else to captivate her. But, her own musical vision would not be complete until she heard the folk-rock of The Byrds and the blues-rock of The Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones. It was then she went electric. Her life would never be the same. It would lead to legendary associations with Byrds, Gene Clark and John York, The Rolling Stones’ lead guitarist, Mick Taylor, some of the greatest R&B legends alive and even brushes with Bob Dylan.
These two albums are overlooked classics that beg for the light of day and recognition. They are both enough to make any Americana or Stones fan sit up and take notice. Olson’s vocals rock with unusual soul and she sings blues with rare distinction while Taylor’s vocal and guitar work remind the listener of the ‘world’s greatest rock and roll band’s’ golden era and who contributed so much to the epic nature of their sound. The music they made two decades ago, like Carla Olson’s entire career, is the stuff that the term, “Americana music” is made of and stand on their own in the scheme of rock & roll history.