Eric Olson
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Eric Olson


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Hit Single "Grow""

Artist: Eric Olson
Song Title: “Grow”
Review by Zack Daggy

Eric Olson is a student of music by day and a rock star by night. While pursuing a degree in music composition at Columbia College, he performs his original material on stages around the greater Chicago area, and still finds time to teach his craft to others. One original song of his that’s gaining a lot of attention is the track “Grow.”

To put it simply, “Grow” is about growing up and growing weed. On the one hand it’s a song about coming of age. It talks of going through changes in life and how one day you’ll be “too old to run away.” On the other hand it’s a song about marijuana. With lyrics like “You need love for your brother, love for your mother, love for the ganja and love for each other,” it’s easy to see a bit of a reggae influence to Olson’s song writing. The subject matter of growing old is a universal one. It’s something that every listener can relate to. Mixing in the marijuana
references may take away from the song for some, and add to it for others. Regardless of how it’s perceived, it an inventive blend of messages that really shows off Olson’s lyrical prowess.

“Grow” is definitely a song that is heavily influenced by the sounds of the 60’s. Bob Dylan in particular seems to have left his mark. It’s his folk/rock style with a simple acoustic guitar driven melody. Since it’s only a guitar and Olson’s voice throughout the song, it naturally has a much deeper feel to it than a traditional rock song. There is a weight to Olson’s voice that
is captivating. It’s gravelly and melodic yet still feels energetic. The guitar work is superb. Olson flawlessly transitions between serene melodies and harder rock throughout the song. The melody he creates is simple on the surface, yet extraordinarily complex.

Eric Olson may be studying music composition, but he certainly sounds like a veteran of the music industry. With his single “Grow,” you won’t find your cliché bubblegum track with fluff lyrics. You’ll find a track with quality music and meaningful lyrics. You’ll find a song by a professional.

Review by Zack Daggy
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) - Zack Daggy

"Large Crowds Gather as Local Musician Hosts Songwriter’s Showcase"

Riverside musician, Eric Olson, performed and hosted a Songwriters Showcase at Border’s Book Store in La Grange, February 24. Along with Olson, songwriters from Western Springs, Prospect Heights and Chicago thoroughly entertained a large audience who gathered to hear the great original music.

Olsen said the Showcase went very well and many of the Border’s staff members complimented the performances and said the crowds were bigger than usual and they all really seemed to enjoy it. “The showcase was a great variety; it's nice to hear all the different talents that come out of this area,” said one of the staff members.

“That's what the Showcase is really all about. Hearing some unsigned local talent from the area and supporting local music,” said Olson. “The other great thing about these showcases are the connections you can get from them and that's the biggest part to music business, networking.”

Fans from many walks of life describe Olson’s music as passionate and heartfelt. The well-rounded and talented musician writes his own songs, plays and teaches guitar and has a dynamic voice. He creates a mix of contemporary folk sounds mixed in with strong classic rock influences. He said his influence comes from Bob Dylan, Pete Townsend, Led Zepplin, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Robert Johnson, Jeff Buckley, Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Johann Sebastian Bach and Paul Simon.

Olson has been playing guitar for over 10 years. “I started when I was a little kid (around 8 yrs old) and studied folk music with Jack Moore. Jack was an old timer who started his music career in the late ‘50’s early ‘60’s. He took me under his wing for four years, teaching me the roots of American music. After that I started focusing more on modern pop music and taught myself how to play all that great ‘90’s grunge rock. I mainly played that during my high school years at RB (Riverside Brookfield High School),” said Olson.

“The funny thing about high school was that I was never involved with the school band or orchestra. I've always done my own thing outside of organized music. I guess you could say that has given me the freedom to do and play whatever I want. That is also why I am a songwriter now and not just somebody’s performer,” he added.

After high school, Olson studied classical guitar and voice with Phil Circle for
2 and 1/2 years. “Phil is a local musician from the Chicago/Wicker Park area. He was the one that influenced me to study music at Columbia College, which is what I am currently doing right now. If it weren't for Phil I don't think I would be where I am today. He helped me craft my style and told me I have the ability to write great songs.”

At Columbia, Olson is a music composition major. “I compose for film, television, theater, commercials, musicals, you name it.... and I'll write a song for it”

Olson just finished composing for a local Riverside filmmaker, Alek Lappin, and his film “Forgiven”. Along with composing songs, he also teaches guitar lessons where students study classical and folk guitar with him. He is also readying a demo with the help of an LA recording company and will use it to pitch his songs to some Nashville record labels. In addition, he plays in a band called “The Dark Arts”.

To catch the fabulous music of this rising star, you can see Eric Olson the first Tuesday of every month at the Riverside wine and cheese café, Parallel 42.

By Debra L. Solomon - The Gazette Newspapers


Released two LPs:

The Alchemist (2008)

Father Lover Son Friend (2009)

Acoustic Remedies (2010)



I am both a student and teacher of music and I believe in the power of music to touch lives. I have been studying guitar for fifteen years, with emphasis on classical guitar. I am also currently pursuing a degree in music composition at Columbia College, Chicago. I am a songwriter and I perform my originals around the Chicago area. As a songwriter, I've drawn inspiration from an eclectic array of artists, including Bob Dylan, Bach, and Pearl Jam. I also teach guitar, both private lessons and free, public lessons available on YouTube. As the son of two teachers and the father of a beautiful daughter, music education is something very close to my heart; I think everyone should be given the opportunity to learn music.