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Mark Olson rises with the Creekdippers

By Brian Baker, December 2000

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"I had everything done except for the bridge in 'Meeting in Lone Pine,' which I wrote the day we did it," says Olson. "I just had to teach everyone the songs, which we did in front of the mics, and then we'd just hit 'record' and play it. It's not over-rehearsed. The way we do it is kind of neat because you have no idea what it's going to sound like. You record it and listen to the first playback, and go, 'Yeah, that's it.' It was exciting to work with drums this time as well. I hadn't worked with drums in a long time, and it kind of took these folk songs and rocked them up a bit. It sounds good. Don (Heffington) is a good country drummer."

It's obvious that the chemistry between the Creekdippers and the process that they've developed over the past four years has inspired them, as evidenced by the fact that the Creekdippers have released four albums in that time, while Williams has managed only six studio discs and a live album since 1987.

"There's something there," says Williams of the couple's synergy within the Creekdippers. "Mark's got an unusual, beautiful voice, and I feel so fortunate to get to sing with him. I can't sing like Gary (Louris of the Jayhawks) can sing with him, but I can sing like I can sing with him. And we've got the love factor, that's really strong, and you can't deny that. That's real good."

"The reason we put out that number of records is because we're out in the desert, and we make these homemade records really quick," Olson says. "It's a week, and we're done, and then I start mixing, and that's done real quick. It's a different way of working than with a lot of musicians and a studio and a producer and things like that. It's been freeing to do it this way."

2001 is shaping up to be a travelling year for the Creekdippers, and perhaps the first year since the band's been together without a new album. There is talk of a fairly extensive European jaunt and, as always, much more ground to cover here at home. The plan at present is to incorporate a healthy share of Creekdippers material, both old and new, as well as presenting some of Williams' solo pieces in the set.

"It's like the family band," Olson says. "Obviously, people coming to hear us want to hear some of Vic's songs, so we play them. The way we work it is that I do a few songs, then she does a few songs, and then we take requests. We just kind of let it flow from that point."

"I've made four records in four years now, and I feel like if any of this material is worth anything, I've got to go out and play it for people," says Olson with a laugh. "I can't keep writing stuff that nobody hears. I have to address that issue."

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