Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop
David Olney's three Rounder/Philo albums, Deeper Well, Highwide and Lonesome, and Roses form a lyrical suite of rare energy and emotional consequence. Critics often celebrate Olney's howling voice and the embattled blues ... more »
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David Olney's three Rounder/Philo albums, Deeper Well, Highwide and Lonesome, and Roses form a lyrical suite of rare energy and emotional consequence. Critics often celebrate Olney's howling voice and the embattled blues of his arrangements, but the power of these records lies in the uncommon wisdom of their best songs. Deeper Well demonstrates his talent with a force rare in most singer-songwriters. The material never fails him: the allegorical mysteries of "Jerusalem Tomorrow" (covered memorably by Emmylou Harris), the glowing and empathetic, but never sentimental, "Women Across the River", the bedeviling and dramatically savvy "Illegal Cargo", and what remains his best song, "If My Eyes Were Blind." --Roy Francis Kasten
A GREAT SET FROM A MASTER SONGWRITER
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 09/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I wrote my review of David's THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, I called that album `Olney's best - in my humble opinion'. This recording, originally released in 1988, comes extremely close to the overall quality of that newer one. The production on DEEPER WELL is the only thing that keeps it - for me - from standing right up there with THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY. It's a bit tinny compared to the newer album - but that's an extremely small `complaint' when you factor in the songwriting and performances. DEEPER WELL is a fantastic album.Olney's songwriting has long been respected among his peers - his late friend Townes Van Zandt said `David Olney is one of the best songwriters I've ever heard'. David's songs have been covered by such luminaries as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstandt, Laurie Lewis - and many other fine singers who know a great song when they hear one - and yet he remains, in the words of the L.A.TIMES, `The best songwriter you've never heard of.' Ah...the music industry.David is a thinking person's songwriter who has an uncanny ear for a melody and a seemingly inborn ability to get right to the heart of whatever he's singing about. His songs are about life, plain and simple - but is life ever really simple...? Like a fine writer in the literary field - and he's been compared to Faulkner, which I would guess makes him a bit uncomfortable - he wraps his stories in incredibly beautiful and apt metaphors and images in one song, then turns around and throws the next one right into the lap of the listener in unabashedly direct language. The man is simply a master at his craft.There are so many great songs in this collection that it's hard to pick standouts. `Deeper well' starts the album off with a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred song about searching for meaning in our lives, along with the consequences of dedicating ourselves to that search. `Women across the river', the next song, is mysterious and gentle, one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. `Jerusalem tomorrow' gives us a look into the life of Jesus as seen by a companion - and a rather seedy one at that. `Illegal cargo' is full of danger. `Poor clothing' opens the heart and mind of a man taking a humbling look at himself. `If my eyes were blind' is simply one of the most beautiful expressions of unconditional love I've ever heard - I listen to it and think of the woman I love, and tears fill my eyes.The songs I haven't mentioned specifically are all great works as well - there's not a bad track here. David is coming to play a house concert in my city in November - I've never heard him play live, and I can't wait to experience it. If this man's songs have never touched your ears, or your heart and soul - you owe it to yourself to give him a listen. You won't regret it."
Tremendous work of a little known artist.
M. Castellon | Atlanta, GA United States | 06/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw David Olney when he played with the X-Rays at the Springwater Tavern in Nashville in 1979, while I was in college. I was astounded that such a great song writer was playing at such a small (but fun and cruddy) place. I spent many nights there with my beer buddies and an initially reluctant girl friend or two, listening to some wonderful songs. We all thought for sure he was the next Bruce Springstein.
I ran into him again, a few years later, in Chapel Hill. The X-Rays were gone, but there were more great songs. I bought a record he was selling (the Contender, which is excellent but hard to find now), and wondered if he would make it after all. A few years ago, I discovered that some of his music was available on CD, and was reacquainted with his music. It stands the test of time, and this is one of the best, an absolute must have. My favorites on this CD include "Poor Clothing," "You Are Here," "Lonesome Waltz of the Wind," and "If My Eyes Were Blind," all of which have a brutal honesty to them, as well as beautiful melodies. See if they don't move you. I also like "Illegal Cargo," which shows the Olney ability to empathize with whom we usually perceive as the bad guy. "Women Across the River" is a classic. And "If Love Was Illegal" is an interesting rendition of one of our old Springwater favorites. Buy this CD! It is wonderful."