DON’T TRY TO FIGHT IT
Red Parlor Records.
The Renaissance Man of Americana Strides Ahead of The Pack.
It’s very difficult to keep up with David Olney; apart from his weekly Video reports (Vlog?) and radio show on Nashville’s WXNA he tours more than Dylan and hardly a year goes by without a new album of fresh new material; which always stand up alongside the best of the rest.
A friend and cohort of everybody who is worth knowing in Nashville’s (and Americas) Americana and Alt. Country world David Olney is surely due a big old Career Retrospective Double Album/box-set as by my reckoning this is Olney’s 30th album in 36 years; but until then there is NEW MUSIC to listen to…….
WOAH! I wasn’t expecting the opening electric guitar/sax salvo that breaks out of the speakers on If They Ever Let Me Out which opens the record. Olney’s trademark leathery, world worn voice then slithers over the band like a King Cobra on a tightly wound, almost claustrophobic Southern Rocker with the singer taking the character of an inmate pacing his cell dreaming about his release day. Trust me; only David Olney could right a song like this and deliver it with such élan.
As expected you have to expect the unexpected with this guy’s records; we get a Tex-Mex flavoured love song with Innocent Heart, some Leon Russell New Orleans Voodoo-Rock with the title track Don’t Try to Fight It, Cool Chicago Blues on Sweet Sugaree, plus beautifully weird Eastern Psychedelia with Situation and with Yesterday’s News Olney finally gets to record a song he wrote in his youth and it comes out as a sweet and mellow nod to the Laurel Canyon era; but first and foremost he is a teller of stories and the genre he chooses for them is secondary.
Crack in the Wall, like that opener is another tightly wrapped Country-Rocker featuring some sublime electric guitar from Blair Hogan on a song that out Alt’s the current swell of Alt. Country bands…….Olney Rocks!
On an album that sweeps you along like a night train, with hardly any time to catch your breath David Olney has never sounded finer (#discuss) than on the lilting Folk ballad Ferris Wheel, which takes us back to those heady days of first finding love; and I can’t think of a better metaphor than a Ferris Wheel at a fairground to describe those exciting highs and lows the way David and co-writer John Hadley manage.
But; my favourite track here is when David ends the disc with the cinematic and atmospheric Big Top (Tornado), a powerful and imaginative ‘talking Blues’ with a Southern Rock/Blues spine that is so left of centre it deserves a whole album based around it or, at the very least a 20 minute 12″ re-mix!
What more can I say? I’m pretty sure some reviewers will call this David Olney’s ‘Masterpiece;’ I can’t judge as I think I’ve only heard about ten of his previous discs but I can say that I doubt I will hear 10 better and more memorable albums in 2017!
Released March 31st 2017