David Olney
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David Olney

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"RAW PASSION: Philadelphia Enquirer"

“He's a little bit country, a little bit folk and quite a bit raw passion. He can grab an audience's attention like a bolt of lightning or exude tenderness in heart-tugging love songs.” - The Philadelphia Enquirer


DYNAMITE DAVE: A MUSIC CITY MASTER: “During his three decades in Nashville, Dave Olney has gone from being one of Music City's most exhilarating rock 'n' rollers to being one of our town's best respected songsmiths. Even when stripped down to a guitar and vocal, though, Olney's songs and performances retain unusual intensity and impact. All this goes to say that...well, he's awfully good. For songwriters and performers, an Olney concert offers an opportunity to learn by observing a great one in action. For everyone else, it's just an opportunity to be entertained by a uniquely masterful artist.” - The Tennessean

"Emmylou Harris Praises David Olney"

“David Olney tells marvelous stories, with characters who cling to the hope of enduring love, all the while crossing the deep divide into that long dark night of the soul.” - Emmylou Harris

"Townes Van Zandt praises David Olney"

“Anytime anyone asks me who my favorite music writers are, I say Mozart, Lightnin' Hopkins, Bob Dylan and Dave Olney. Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I've ever heard.” - Townes Van Zandt

"Love this crazy guy, LOVE THIS RECORD"

"As the title track notes, it's not just one tough town, but a tough planet. I saw Olney playing at a festival this spring and thought he looked like a FEDORA-SPORTING, fiftysomething HIGH-SCHOOL PRINCIPAL who'd SUDDENLY GONE BERSERK and was using his acoustic guitar like it was a weapon. Love this crazy guy, LOVE THIS RECORD." - Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle


David Olney w/Sergio Webb & Jack Irwin
(Saturday - August 22, 2009)

Plenty of musicians use YouTube as an outlet for loopy “behind-the-scenes” footage. Not David Olney. Then again, he’s been at it a lot longer than the goofy video-makers, and his aims are different. Olney’s YouTube offerings are seriously impressive poetry recitations, of which Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is only the most recent installation. Olney’s proven himself many times over to be a blues-darkened singer-songwriter with a method actor’s imagination. Now he’s underscoring his dramatic and literary sensibilities. (Besides the on-camera stuff, he recently contributed a short story to Amplified.) These days, Sergio Webb (on guitar) and Jack Irwin (on percussion) round out the small combo that lends Olney’s songs a sinewy mystique. Norm’s is a spot they play pretty regularly, and it’s where they recorded a live album last year. This time they’ll be joined by Jonathan Bright, Russell O'Brien—who’re at work on a trippy, harmony-rich rock project—and Tom Littlefield.
Norm's River Road House
7695 River Road Pike Nashville, TN - The Nashville Scene (TN)

"Olney UNBOUND!"

"Olney Unbound...part Baptist preacher, part caustic comedian, and part EXISTENTIAL BLUESMAN... Olney shouted, moaned and howled his sharply observed hard-luck tales and quirky character studies. Webb, who looks like he stepped out of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, provided a DIZZYING ARRAY OF TEXTURES, employing unconventional techniques." - MTV's Urge.com

"Outside looking in with David Olney"

Outside looking in with David Olney

“David Olney stands out in Nashville like a jalapeno in a bowl of vanilla pudding,” a Texas newspaper wrote last year, in reviewing the veteran troubadour’s latest album, “One Tough Town.”
Olney himself doesn’t object to the simile; there are times he wonders what such a renegade singer-songwriter is doing in the Mecca for bland country music. But he figured he ended up there as the lesser of three evils.
“I’d been stockpiling songs I was writing for quite a while, back in North Carolina and Atlanta, and I knew I had to make a move,” recalled Olney over the telephone earlier this week. “Back then, and I suppose even now, it was New York or Los Angeles or Nashville if you wanted to do music. I figured Nashville was the closest and definitely more comfortable place to live to have a career as a songwriter.”
Of course, as Olney himself readily admits, very little of what he wrote was even remotely commercial country music, despite the fact that bluegrass superstar Del McCoury and country heroines Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt are among the artists who have covered his songs.
“But by the time I figured that out, and it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be a country music star, it was just where I lived… But anyplace I’d have gone I’d feel a little odd.”
Indeed, Nashville may own his mailing address, but Olney really lives in the fringes and other places most people never even visit, the kind of space that finds him writing a song about the Titanic from the iceberg’s point of view or referring to love as a defense mechanism.
And perhaps the home of a million songwriters and the Grand Ole Opry might be just the perfect place to shape his extraordinarily literary musings into workable songs.
“Despite it being so conservative, their strict form of songwriting helped me mold my chaotic ideas,” he said. “It helped out a whole lot having those structural things. It doesn’t keep you from having weird insights, but somewhere in the back of my mind I know it has to be recognized as a song, not just random thoughts.”
The latest organizing principal for Olney, who released more than a dozen albums prior to “One Tough Town,” has been to embrace the spectrum of American roots music, tracing the genres all the way back to the days of vaudeville for an album both so adventurous and grounded it belies his 58 years.
“I’ve always had an admiration those old performers didn’t do just one thing,” he said. They played piano, did soft shoe, told jokes. They were more complete entertainers. I wanted to do some songs that captured that feel. And I think the older you get, the more you can focus your abilities in a certain area.”
While the album is replete with horns and other unusual instruments for a “folk” album, Olney said he won’t have any difficulty reproducing them tomorrow night when he makes his Santa Barbara debut in the Sings Like Hell concert series at the Lobero Theater, with multi-instrumentalist Sergio Webb joining him on stage.
“He opens all kinds of doors and possibilities, and we’re able to get a pretty full band sound,” Olney said. “You don’t have to play vaudeville songs. It’s just that folk performer in a quest for realism downplayed all the showmanship stuff that goes into performance. In the last few years, I’ve started to embrace the shtick, if you will.”
Tickets for David Olney’s 8 p.m. show are $42.50 at the box office. Call 963-0760.
- The Daily Sound (Santa Barbara, CA)


The Big Gigs - POP/ROCK
The phrase "Nashville songwriter" usually conjures up a slick operator, but David Olney's blend of folk, blues, hard country, rock, old-time jazz swing, biting wit and full-throttle performance passion is closer in spirit to Springsteen, Townes Van Zandt (who was a huge Olney fan), Dylan or Neil Young at his angriest. Olney writes unique story songs, often with an unsparing world view, and can belt 'em out like a man possessed, though he's just as likely to be subtle or funny. (9:30 p.m. Thu., Famous Dave's Uptown. $5.) (T.S.)
- The Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)

"ENGAGING & ENLIGHTENING: "Ol' Diz: A Musical Baseball Story" Review"

"Ol' Diz"
(Deadbeet Records)

"A folksy charm embedded recording, which baseball fans will doubtlessly find engaging and enlightening.

If you've devoured the contents of Olney's CD liner booklets in the past, you'll immediately recognise Hadley's name as a regular co-writer. This former University of Oklahoma arts professor, now Nashville-based, has also written with Kevin Welch, Jim Stafford and others.

Don't go expecting a conventional Olney album, as this is a side project featuring "themed" songs co-penned by the duo for Ben Jones' one-man play "Ol' Diz: A Musical Baseball Story." Back in the 1980s, Jones played Cooter Davenport in the Duke Of Hazzard television series, then served terms as a Democrat Congressman before returning to acting and writing. Ol' Diz, Arkansas born Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean(1910-1974), was a Depression-era star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and led the 1934 World Series winning team. Nicknamed the Gas House Gang because of their dishevelled appearance and roughhouse tactics, Jay's younger brother Paul (aka Daffy) was also a member of that team.

On this bare-bones eleven-song recording, banjo or acoustic guitar accompany Olney and Hadley's vocals and narrations. Olney's voice should be well familiar to readers, and Hadley's voice possesses a similar lived-in quality. Employing a biographical or storytelling style, there's recall of the passing of Jay's mother when he was aged seven: "Precious Memories To Alma Dean," the Depression, President Roosevelt and baseball: "The Cards Are Pitching Dizzy Dean Today," and the 'hardball well-oiled baseball machine': "The Gas House Gang," "Heaven's Game" is a gospel styled number, the ballad "True To My Pat" recalls Dean's no-nonsense wife - 'He's my pride and joy, He's an overgrown boy, A kid with a ball and a glove,' while "Hall Of Fame," which closes the album, Hadley references highlights in this sometimes boastful but nevertheless talented player's career and his 1953 election to Cooperstown's National Baseball Hall Of Fame.

There is a folksy charm embedded in this recording and baseball fans will doubtless find it engaging and enlightening. It is the second release on David's Deadbeet Records and is a limited edition release in CD form, but the collection is also available from numerous well-known download sites." - Maverick Magazine (UNITED KINGDOM - Sept. 2009)


Body Of Evidence (Box Set)
Deadbeet Records
David Olney Presents: Film Noir
The Stone
Robbery & Murder

Robbery & Murder
Deadbeet Records
"Go Down Dupree"
"My Family Owns This Town"
"Gold Diamond Ring"

The Stone
Deadbeet Records
"Jerusalem Tomorrow"
"A Soldier's Report"

David Olney Presents: Film Noir
Deadbeet Records
"Frank Is Gone"
"$20 Serenade"
"The Blues Don't Care"
"Blue Moon Hotel"

Dutchman's Curve
Deadbeet Records
"Train Wreck"
"Red Tail Hawk"
"If I Were You"
"Covington Girl"
"You Never Know"

Ol’ Diz: A Musical Baseball Story – A Songwriters Version of a Work-In-Progress
Deadbeet Records
“The Cards Are Pitching Dizzy Dean Today”
“You Can Call Me Diz”
“Heaven’s Game”

Live at Norm’s River Road House, Vol. 1 (live)
Deadbeet Records
“Ukulele Waltz”
“Kubla Khan” (Samuel Coleridge)
“The Highway’s Coming”

One Tough Town
Red Parlor Records
“Sweet Poison”
“Little Mustang”
“Sweet Potato”
“One Tough Town”
“Panama City”
“Postcard From Mexico”

Lenora (live)
SCR Productions (Holland)

LoudHouse Records
“My Lovely Assistant”
“No One Knows What Love Is”
“Light From Carolina”
“Speak Memory”

Illegal Cargo (live)
SCR Productions (Holland)

The Wheel
LoudHouse Records
“All the Love in the World”
“God Shaped Hole”
“Boss Don’t Shoot No Dice”
Women Across the River (live)
SCR Productions (Holland)

Omar’s Blues
Dead Reckoning Records
“Omar’s Blues”
“If It Wasn’t For The Wind”
“Bathsheba Blues”

Through a Glass Darkly
Philo Records
“Little Bit of Poison”
“The Suicide Kid”

Ghosts in the Wind (live)
Barbed Wire Records

Real Lies
Philo Records
“Barrymore Remembers”
“Robert Ford & Jesse James”
“Sunset on Sunset Boulevard”
“Thirty Coins of Gold”

High, Wide and Lonesome
Philo Records
“My Family Owns This Town”
“Ruby Ann”
“Flood of ‘93”
“Vincent’s Blues”

Ache of Longing
Vercity/Roadsongs Records
“Soldier of Misfortune”
“Only You”
“The Man On The Flying Trapeze”

Live in Holland (live)
SCR Productions (Holland)

Border Crossing
Corazong Records

Top to Bottom
Appaloosa Records (Italy)
“Big Cadillac”
“That’s My Story”

Philo Records
“Luckiest Man”
“Love’s Been Liked to the Blues”
“That’s Why She’s with Me”

Deeper Well
Philo Records
“Women Across the River”
“If Love Was Illegal”
“Jerusalem Tomorrow”
“Deeper Well”
“If My Eyes Were Blind”

The Nashville Jug Band
Rounder Records
“Racetrack Blues”

Eye of the Storm
Philo Records
“I Keep My Fingers Crossed”
“Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”
“Queen Anne’s Lace”
“A Dangerous Man”

Customized – Dave Olney & The X-Rays
Boulevard Records

Contender – Dave Olney & The X-Rays
Rounder Records
“Will to Survive”
“Wait Here for the Cops”
“Love and Money”
“Steal My Thunder”

Columbia Records
“Black Betty”



Nashville-based touring and recording artist David Olney is just back from a California co-bill tour with Anne McCue, which was preceded by a triumphant debut tour of Australia in March, followed by a new album release tour in Scandinavia. During this recent touring, his "Postcard From Mexico" song was prominently used in the ABC-TV "Nashville" show. In addition to always being on tour, David broadcasts every Tuesday on his website via YouTube with his "You Never Know" video shorts where he plays a song and shares the story behind it.

One of the early pioneers of what has become known as Americana music, David Olney has released more than 20 albums over four decades, including six live recordings and is often likened to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and Randy Newman. His intelligent compositions have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Lonnie Brooks, Tim O’Brien, and many more. Ms. Harris says, “David Olney tells marvelous stories, with characters who cling to the hope of enduring love, all the while crossing the deep divide into that long dark night of the soul.”

Mr. Olney has also become well-known for his live performances – especially those accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Sergio Webb — packed with such intensity it leaves audiences with a truly memorable experience.

"The [David Olney] show defies description. It was highly UNUSUAL, EXCITING, ENGROSSING and OVER TOO SOON."
( NuCountry.com – Melbourne, Australia )

“Anyone interested in the true art of songwriting has an incomplete view without awareness of David Olney’s work. HIS SONGS RIVET YOU even as THEY STARTLE and AMAZE, illuminating and enriching one’s life.”
( Sing Out! Magazine )

“This was a ROOTS/AMERICANA DREAM TEAM that spoiled us rotten. RIVETING and UNFORGETTABLE.” ( Americana-UK.com )
“A PERFORMANCE THAT BORDERS AT TIMES ON THE ORCHESTRAL....A show PACKED WITH INCIDENT, amusement, contrast and fine, fine songsmithery."  ( The Herald - Scotland )