If you ever heard anything by the now defunct Soledad Brothers, you’d understand why it’s exciting that former member Brian Olive has an album out. The Soledads were masters of taking a Southern rock angle to soul music, garage punk, and the blues. On his self-titled debut, Brian hones that sound down to a couple of definitive influences, staying more rootsy than garage-oriented.
His record has a nice mix of Memphis soul, ’70s Dylan, relaxing acoustic music, and, of course, a tinge of that country fried sound. But what’s most impressive about Brian’s debut is that while you can draw lines to influences and ponder on what else he sounds like, this record isn’t a ’70s Dylan clone album by a long shot. This is a well put together, well written, and well executed debut from an extremely talented dude.
Brian Olive – “Ida Red” (from Brian Olive)
Check out his debut album, which is out right now. Here’s his list.
1) Jackie Mitoo – “Summer Breeze” – “This one goes into my stereo this time every year. It’s nothing like the original. Jackie’s voice (I believe it’s him singing) sounds both alien and familiar in a way that is unexplainable.”
2) Brian Eno – “China My China” (from Taking Tiger Mountain – By Strategy) – “It’s a song that I find frightening and typewriters provide the percussion.”
3) The Staple Singers – “On My Way to Heaven” (from The Staple Singers) – “On the version I have, they’re performing for the people at church. Listening to the music and the crowd’s reaction feels too good. And when Mavis takes her solo, the sound is proof (in my mind) of the existence of a ‘higher power.’”
4) The Fiery Furnaces – “Waiting To Know You” (from Bitter Tea) – “I like that this song shows that new music can be simple and poetic and still sound ‘new.’ It’s beautiful.”
5) Mad Lydia – “Madam Satan” – “I’m not sure a lot of people have had a chance to hear this song but, it’s one of my favorites. Mad Lydia was a singer from Cincinnati in the late 1960s. The song is an ode to her mother and a fairy tale about Hell.”