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The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers

Zola and the Tulip Tree – 1999 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

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CDs by The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers

Mark Olson and crew broaden their sound on this, their third outing of self-produced, sweetly creaky tunes that meld homespun touches with lyrics of nature, love and good feelings.

It's hard not to like this batch of songs, that, like on previous albums like "Pacific Coast Rambler," spring forth from a collaboration of Olson, wife Victoria Williams (who has a singing career of her own) and multi-instrumentalist Mike "Razz" Russell. The arrangements are fuller this time around, with musicians like John Convertino adding drums to the mix or Don Heffington lacing juice harp to "Skip To My Lou."

Olson's lyrics are never the easiest to decipher, but selections like "Cedric Harper" and the title track go down so easy, taking the time to figure out what's going on is an easy task. (Creek Dippers, PO Box 342, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, E-Mail: creekdipper@thegrid.net)