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Poetic Memory: Mark Olson (Interview)

Photo credit: Ingunn Ringvold

Mark Olson co-founded The Jayhawks with Gary Louris back in 1985, and even though he split from the band 10 years into its 25-year existence, he left an indelible mark on one of the first great alt-country bands — and on lots of great bands that followed in the Jayhawks’ footsteps.

Olson hasn’t stopped working, either. Between 1995 and today, Olson has released seven albums with The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, a celebrated 2008 reunion album with Gary Louris called Ready For The Flood, and (soon to be) two solo albums.

Olson will release Many Colored Kite, his second solo album, on July 27. The album was produced by Beau Raymond (engineer for Devendra Banhart) and features collaborations with Jolie Holland, Vashti Bunyan, and Neal Casal of Ryan Adams’ band the Cardinals. For a sample, check out “Little Bird of Freedom” (MP3), the Jolie Holland-collaborated first single from the album.

In anticipation of Many Colored Kite, we asked Mr. Olsen to send us a list of his influences. He obliged, and even though it’s not exactly a list, it’s still awesome. Check it out below.