Mark Olson was a founding member of seminal alt-country band The Jayhawks and a driving creative force behind the band’s early classics (1992’s Hollywood Town Hall and 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass). Tired of the demands of the music industry and being ignored by much of the general public, Olson left the band after the latter album, retreating to the Joshua Tree, CA desert with new wife Victoria Williams to live a quiet life. It was there that he began churning out homespun albums like 2000’s My Own Jo Ellen, a Gram Parsons-tinged folk record about strange neighbors, lost souls, environmental concerns, and the comforts of home. Filled with his typically cracked-country vocals and elliptical lyrics that sound more like themed finger paintings than linear stories, My Own Jo Ellen stands along with the best albums Olson was ever a part of. Gorgeous closer “Rosalee”, about a woman who never leaves her home, is one of the most affecting songs he’s ever written.
MP3 :: Rosalee
(from My Own Jo Ellen. Buy here)