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OLGA
NOW IS THE TIME
219records TNR1007

Jackson Free Press - Mississippi

The dusty yellow hue of the cover picturing a woman wandering like some gypsy beside train tracks may remind the listener of the everyday blues musician, but Olga, the lead vocalist, is more. She is the waifish-looking woman on the cover, with the long, fairy tale blonde hair, but she possesses a voice soulful enough to leave the rib cage and its heart vibrating like the warmly strummed strings of her guitar.

To put aside all what is typically thought of as bluesy-folk music would be radical, but the music itself is as eclectic as the performer. There is the prerequisite guitar, drums and bass, but a closer listen reveals the use of such instruments as congas, accordion and the dobro. These worldly elements of sound are fused to form a comforting sound coupled with the honesty of human experience expressed via the lyrics. Tracks like “Weary” and “Gotta Keep Moving” touch listeners personally, and Olga’s strong voice carries not only the ears, as it sails and wails over the attractive melody, but the whole body, so that it is easy to be found rocking to the pace of the lead guitar and snapping to the funky accents of the percussion. Separate from the expected bold and soul-infused selections are more mellow tracks like “Ain’t it a Shame,” which pours out the tragedies of a pathetic rift in a relationship. In addition to the artist’s original songs are few of Olga’s remakes of traditional songs: “What’s the Matter with the Mill,” “Stealin’” and “GDTRFB,” or “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad,” which are rearranged and enhanced with additional verses. Olga is truly a jewel of an artist. An Austrian girl turned country blues musician, she keeps the flame burning from a new angle.

-by Cheniece Smith, Jackson Free Press, October 18, 2006



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