INTERNATIONAL FOLK STARLET KRISTINA OLSEN (USA) RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA TO SHOWCASE HER LATEST FULL LENGTH ALBUM CHEMISTRY
CHEMISTRY AUSTRALIAN ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR 2014
MELBOURNE & SYDNEY ALBUM LAUNCH SHOWS IN OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
Revered singer songwriter Kristina Olsen returns to Australia this month for the launch of her latest recording, Chemistry, a collaboration with USA guitarist, composer, arranger and producer, Peter Snell. Peter, a superb guitarist, has toured extensively with Lyle Lovett’s Large Band and singer songwriter Sam Phillips, among others. His arrangements and superb accompaniment to Kristina’s compelling songs and instrumentation showcases the multi-genre talents of both musicians.
Kristina Olsen is recognised as one of the most entertaining and compelling performers on the international folk circuit. A superb multi-instrumentalist (acoustic guitar, steel-body slide guitar, saxophone, concertina, mandolin and piano) as well as an award-winning songwriter, her big bluesy voice and infectious personality has audiences around the world coming back for more. Her mix of powerful songs ranging from sassy bottleneck blues, lilting ballads, swing jazz to raunch and roll (as well as her hilarious storytelling) makes for a diverse and satisfying musical experience, on stage, on disc and in print.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Haight-Asbury during the 1960's, Kristina's approach to music and life was formed by that environment of vital cultural expression, social activism and diverse musical influences. She now calls Venice Beach, Los Angeles home but rarely sees it from touring ten months a year. With 11 recordings to her name, in 2012 she added ‘author’ to her mantle with the release of They Paid Us in Tub Time an e-book with new and back catalogue re-arrangements imbedded into the text. Launched at the Ubud Writer’s Festival, Tub Time was also featured at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and toured through Victoria and New South Wales in early 2013.
Such respected artists as Eric Bibb, Fairport Convention, Maddy Prior, Mary Coughlan and Mollie O’Brien have covered and recorded songs by Kristina. She has also worked as a session musician on numerous artists’ albums including playing the hammered dulcimer on Michelle Shocked’s album Short Sharp Shocked on PolyGram and touring as Mary Coughlan’s guitarist in 2005. Her song In Your Darkened Room was used in the film We’ll Always Have Dingle, a documentary about an Irish Film Festival. Kristina has performed as a multi-instrumentalist in plays for the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles’ Music Center. She won the Kerrville Song writing award her song for battered women, I'm Keeping This Life of Mine.
With a passion for touring, this intrepid troubadour has had annual schedules that have included tours in Australia, Scotland (for the Celtic Connections Festival), England, Bangladesh (for a benefit concert), New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Her journeys and experiences ‘on the road’ have provided much ‘fodder’ for song and story.
Chemistry will no doubt resonate with Kristina’s dedicated fan base and its jazz influenced arrangements and sound will find new devotees to her craft. Speaking of the collaboration with Peter Snell, Kristina is quick to rave about the partnership. “Playing music with Pete is like opening the gate to a race horse,” she says. “There is no musical style that can stump him and he revels in musical challenges!” While the title-track and CD title were inspired by Kristina’s reading of jazz guitar great, Ted Greene’s Chord Chemistry, she says, the title is an apt description of the musical chemistry that resonated through the rehearsal and recording phases with Peter.
Some of the songs on Chemistry have been ‘works in progress’ for a long time Kristina revealed. “Some, I have been working on for over 20 years,” she says. “I’d work on it, bring it to my songwriting group, get feedback then put them back on blocks of the back of the songwriting car lot. Songs each take their own time to finish so some were done in a day while some took decades.”
Whether short or long in gestation, the lyrics and music on Chemistry reflect Kristina’s keen observation of life and the many and varied people and places her musical journey has travelled. Don’t miss the special album launch shows as Kristina Olsen returns to Australia to showcase tracks from her latest release.
CHEMISTRY TOUR DATES
Saturday 25 October
Flying Saucer Club, ELSTERNWICK VIC
Friday 14 November
Roxby Hotel, GLEBE NSW
Wednesday 3 December
Melbourne Folk Club
Bella Union, Trades Hall MELBOURNE VIC