Mark Olson The Salvation Blues

Mark Olson The Salvation Blues

Many fans still question the hard road Mark Olson chose to take after leaving the Jayhawks in the mid-’90s, marrying fellow singer-songwriter Victoria Williams and moving to the California desert. While Olson maintained his profile with the various Creekdippers projects he undertook with Williams, nothing seemed to live up to the potential he showed on the classic Jayhawks album he played a large part in crafting. Now with evidently nothing left to lose, The Salvation Blues is Olson’s first true solo album, with all of the pain of his past few years channelled into it. However, long-time Jayhawks fans will definitely appreciate the simple roots-y arrangements that recall the band’s early years. As for Olson’s writing, the view of his circumstances remains surprisingly optimistic, as the title suggests. On songs such as "Clifton Bridge” and "Tears From Above,” he avoids the expected self-pity in favour of discovering transcendent moments in simple everyday pleasures. The Salvation Blues is a welcome return from one of Americana’s largely unsung heroes. (Hacktone/Warner)