Jayhawks’ Mark Olson Solo Record Due
Mark Olson, of The Jayhawks of course, will be releasing his new full-length, Many Colored Kite, on Ryko July 27. It’s the solo follow-up to his 2007 “personal milestone” Salvation Blues, a soul-searching album of loss and change that further cemented Olson’s reputation as one of the true heroes of the folk/roots scene; also, in 2009 Olson teamed up with his old Jayhawks partner Gary Louris for the acclaimed Ready For the Flood, and the duo also put the Jayhawks back together for a string of reunion concerts to promote Music From The North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology.
It’s a hopeful Olson that greets the listener on Many Colored Kite, with its earthy, neo-folk feel that encompasses classic and ‘60s British folk as well as the “desert country” he’s been associated with in the past. Produced and engineered by Beau Raymond (Devendra Banhart, Little Joy, Mark Olson and Gary Louris) and featuring the core group of Olson, Neal Casal and Danny Frankel, this is a wide-eyed, uplifting album with soaring, ethereal harmonies contributed by his girlfriend and musical partner, Ingunn Ringvold.
The opening track, “Little Bird of Freedom” (with backing vocals by Jolie Holland), sets the tone of the album: these are songs by a man who’s made it through the eye of the tempest and is looking at the world as if he’s seeing it for the first time. Elsewhere Many Colored Kite’s airy, uncluttered songs celebrate life and nature (“Wind and Rain, “Morning Dove”) and love (“Blue Bell” and “No Time to Live Without Her,” featuring Vashti Bunyan).