Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers - s/t LP w/ bonus CD

Nero's Neptune #7
December 2009

When the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers' self-distributed inaugural CD first appeared in 1997, fans of Jayhawks-founder Mark Olson had to work pretty hard to find it. Now, Nero's Neptune Records presents this overlooked masterpiece on vinyl for the first time. Pressed at RTI on 180 gram virgin vinyl (with deluxe packaging that includes a free CD), a new era of discerning music-lovers can now discover what a devout few have known all along: Mark Olson is one of this country's very finest songwriters, and this LP is as fine a representation of his poetic vision as has ever been bestowed upon the world. Olson, together with multi-instrumentalists Mike "Razz" Russell and Victoria Williams, offers 10 tunes that revolve around his gently strummed acoustic guitar. Lovingly woven background vocals (courtesy of Ms. Williams) and tasteful, sparse use of piano, mandolin, fiddle and banjo flesh out Olson's heartbreakingly sincere and affecting songs. Pure and simple, this is a desert island-level classic. As No Depression magazine gushed, "it's the kind of music that's impossible to strive for, to fashion from careful study or conscious effort; the only way it happens like this is when it flows straight out from the soul."