Mark Olson - Many Colored Kite
Combining the vocal fragility of Daniel Johnston with heartfelt sound of Gram Parsons
Not counting several sets with The Creekdippers (formed after Olson left the Jayhawks) and a one-off reunion/collaboration with his former Jayhawks cohort Gary Louris, this is only Olson’s second proper solo album, the previous being his redemption-fuelled gemstone The Salvation Blues (2007) – its obvious impetus stemming from his split from Creekdipper and country/folk-star wife Victoria Williams.
This time around Olson combines the vocal fragility (although not the simplicity) of Daniel Johnston with the heartfelt desert-roots sound of the late Gram Parsons; a sound never more evident than on opener ‘Little Bird Of Freedom’.
Obliquely spiritual and at times uplifting, his introspective treks along God’s highway also arrive through ‘Scholastica’, ‘Morning Dove’ and ‘No Time To Live Without Her’; the latter sharing vocal duties with folk icon Vashti Bunyan.