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: Lane, Ramsey, Barrett cover their bases – Covers played a far more prominent role than usual at a country show. And instead of what is typically the least course of resistance in recent years of country artists succumbing to their renditions of a rock hit, Chris Lane, Mason Ramsey and Gabby Barrett played songs that actually were country hits. Interestingly, the youngest of the bunch, Ramsey,... »»»
Concert Review: Mumford and Sons up to snuff, for the most part – Mumford and Sons have always played it smart when it has come to career moves. They have not overtoured by becoming regular fixtures on the touring circuit. Their M.O. is to tour just enough upon an album release and then disappear for a stretch. Ditto for releasing new music ("Delta" just came out last month, Mumford's first release... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Taylor uncovers the past, offering new perspectives Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Woven Waters CD review - Woven Waters
Tellico hails from that bastion of bluegrass and hybrid bluegrass, Asheville, N.C. to deliver its sophomore album "Woven Waters.'' This effort melds their rather inherent bluegrass affinities with British Isle influences,  »»»
Christmas Everywhere CD review - Christmas Everywhere
Rodney Crowell's "Christmas Everywhere" is a (mostly) melancholy collection of songs, with Christmas time as its setting. It's a strong set of carefully worded tunes, set to widely varying musical backings.  »»»
The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
Blackberry Smoke's "The Southern Ground Sessions" EP is five versions of songs from the band's recent "Find a Light" album, along with a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which also features vocalist/violinist Amanda Shires. »»»
Hard Times and White Lines CD review - Hard Times and White Lines
Whitey Morgan's fourth studio release exhibits the singer/songwriter's reverence for outlaw country and southern rock. The influence of Hank Williams, Jr. is evident on the opening "Honky Tonk Hell" with lyrics that »»»