Sign up for newsletter
 

Gene Clark/Carla Olson set of new and old coming in October

Monday, September 24, 2007 – The musical collaboration of Gene Clark of The Byrds fame and Carla Olson will result in a 2-CD set of previously released and new material, due Oct. 30 on Collector's Choice.

The set, "Gene Clark With Carla Olson: In Concert," includes an unreleased Clark performance for Mountain Stage, bonus tracks from the duo's Rhino album\ and a live recording from McCabe's Guitar Shop never previously released in the U.S.

Clark's post-Byrds solo career did not soar to the heights attained by bandmates Roger McGuinn, David Crosby or Gram Parsons. By the mid-'80s, he had no career to speak of, yet he continued writing. Texas-bred singer/songwriter Carla Olson who, along with her manager Saul Davis, approached him after a gig and proposed they make an album.

"At that time, Gene's name didn't really mean much to the general record-buying public," said Olson. "And I was a pretty much unknown singer from a cowpunk band in L.A. Saul was gently trying to convince Gene that people were not exactly knocking down doors to sign him. Yet the star thing never left him, bless him. He always held his head high and dressed to the nines."

The first disc is dominated by seven unreleased tracks from a Clark solo concert for Mountain Stage, the live public radio broadcast from Charleston, West Va. Fleshing out the first disc are 3 live bonus tracks from Clark and Olson's studio album, "So Rebellious a Lover," recorded in Los Angeles and issued in 1986 on Rhino Records and long out of print.

The second disc contains the entire Clark and Olson Feb. 3, 1990 performance at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, which was released overseas only on Demon Records as "Silhouetted in Light."

Backing Clark and Olson were Duane Jarvis (Lucinda Williams, Peter Case, Dwight Yoakam) on guitar and David Provost (Textones, Dream Syndicate, Droogs) on bass. "We weren't even aware that a tape of that performance existed," recalls Olson. "It was several years later, after Gene passed away in 1991, that Duane mentioned to me that he had a tape. At the end of the evening, the person doing the recording asked Duane if he'd like a copy of the show. He said yes, put the tape in his guitar case and forgot about it."

That cassette became the live album.

According to album annotator John Einarson, author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life & Legacy of The Byrds' Gene Clark, rehearsals for the McCabe's show in Clark's Sherman Oaks home had become problematic with the singer coming off a three-day writing binge with no sleep.

"Amidst the audience was a very intimate bunch of friends, a lot of people we both knew, so we had a really good time" Olson said. "In some gigs, you just can't do that; the distance between you and the audience is too great. But this was a moment to take advantage of how human we are. You can feel all our vulnerabilities and how close to the edge we all are. Gene was never really a safe person. He had an edge. But even on the bad nights, he still sounded beautiful so I guess we were the only one who kind of knew the difference between tragic and beautiful."

Many of the McCabe's songs were intended for a follow-up studio album that was never to be. Although Clark and Olson would appear together at the Palomino in North Hollywood, and at the Cinegrill in Hollywood a month before his death, the McCabe's set stands testament to their short collaboration.

Olson said, "He had a weathered sound in his voice but singing with Gene for me was always a joy and a pleasure. I'm proud of our performance on this album. I think Gene would be too."

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Nelson shows he's alive and well – After a recent tour stop health scare, where he ended a concert early in Salt Lake City, Willie Nelson appeared to be healthy and in fine spirits. Although he changes up the order from night to night, Nelson performed many of the same songs he always plays live. And while his vocal range shows signs of deterioration - he more talks his songs than sings... »»»
Concert Review: Crowell overcomes The Show That Almost Wasn't – In the memory of those in attendance, it will go down as The Show That Almost Wasn't. The King of Americana, surprisingly strong of voice although physically ragged, Rodney Crowell took to the stage about 90 minutes later than scheduled, and the audience members who persevered were treated to a celebration of song and spirit.... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

With Stanley and Watson, sound isn't elementary Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
May shifts gears, directions Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
Lane assumes mantle of "Highway Queen" For most artists, eight years is a fair amount of time in their careers. For Nikki Lane, eight years represents the entirety of her recorded history, and she's filled that relatively short time span with a highlight reel of impressive accomplishments, not the least of which would be actually... »»»
The Avett Brothers come home to MerleFest For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone...... »»»
Until My Voice Goes Out CD review - Until My Voice Goes Out
Josh Abbott Band opens its album "Until My Voice Goes Out" with the title track, which features the unique combination of stately strings along with plucked banjo. In one respect, it's a love song about the desire for a specific woman. »»»
The Siren's Song CD review - The Siren's Song
Canadian cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum build upon the success and artistic latitude their previous "Strange Country" brought them and teamed with Jeff Tweedy to craft a folk-rock explosion that is positively astonishing. »»»
Not Dark Yet CD review - Not Dark Yet
Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer are two fiercely independent artists, so the eclectic song list on the sisters' collaborative album, "Not Dark Yet," should not shock or surprise anybody. However, the length these siblings have... »»»
Poor David's Almanack CD review - Poor David's Almanack
If award bling on the mantle and merit certificates on the wall are any measure, David Rawlings' place in the musical firmament is as secure as a tectonic plate. His work with Gillian Welch, the creative yin to Rawlings' yang... »»»
Weakness EP CD review - Weakness EP
Margo Price's surprise EP, "Weakness," is a pleasant surprise, indeed. It may be concise, but it's packed tightly with good stuff. The project's title cut is a bit confessional and finds Price admitting, "Sometimes my weakness is stronger than me." Price sings it like a down home cowgirl, over a toe-tapping beat. »»»