Sarah Olson
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Sarah Olson

Potomac, MD | INDIE

Potomac, MD | INDIE
Band Folk Alternative

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Music

Press


Beverly Hills Outlook
April 8, 2007

As part of her first USA road trip, Sarah Olson brought her folk songs, her voice and her guitar to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville this Thursday evening. Her experiences, her life, blaze through her music in a most inviting way. Coming from California (Sherman Oaks), originally from D.C. by way of Colorado, she brings the stories of a well-traveled and a fully-lived life. Working as a maid and a nanny, she eventually saved enough for her musical education at The Musician's Institute in Hollywood. Even though she is a relatively new and young artist, her songs reveal ‘an old soul’, the characteristic of successful artists throughout time.

Sarah’s singing is energetic yet relaxed. Her subject matter is as varied as life can be. As she revealed to me later, I noticed that her performance was not a show as much as it was an honest revelation of her experiences in life. Judging by how busy she is on her tour, largely to collegiate audiences, she must be as well received as she was this Thursday.

We had lunch today in Little Rock at the Flying Fish restaurant and discussed her career at present. Notably, she functions as her own agent, owns her own publishing company, has a CD ("Maybe I Can Change", her first), and has tracks available on Itunes.

She is, in her own words, "living her dream". She lives by a universal philosophical principal espoused long ago by Gandhi, become the change you want to see. She is indeed inspiring in that respect. Eighteen months ago she was waiting tables at the Cheesecake Factory. Today she frequently is full of smiles as she recounts her travels, and her cozy home in Sherman Oaks. She is already booking dates for spring 2008. Life is good. Life was also good for the students from Arkansas Tech who appeared at her concert on Thursday.

Samples of her work can be heard at www.SarahOlsonMusic.com


- Reviewed by Richard Wiseman


Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
2/22/2007

Music and mocha?

What: Sarah Olson

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday

Where: Starbucks inside the Barnes and Noble, MSU campus, Starkville

Cost: Free

Music came before the business for Sarah Olson.

STARKVILLE –
Top Bob Dylan on the folk charts - check. That's one thing Sarah Olson can scratch off her "to-do" list, because she's already done it.
Olson, who's living in Los Angeles, caused a stir on iTunes when a collection of her music hit the site in late 2005. Her songs raced to the top of the folk charts, landing her ahead of giants like Dylan and Cat Stevens.??The music "got out there and everybody just jumped at it. For a short period of time, I was number 10 and Bob Dylan was number 11," Olson said in a phone interview from a tour stop in Shreveport. "I'll always have that."

Olson's on her first major tour, and she's taking on college towns. She'll hit Starkville on Tuesday.
"It's been eight nights since I left L.A. and I've been in six different hotels," she laughed. The tour has taught her a lot already. One of her biggest lessons was how to pack efficiently.

One friend "told me that she packs all of her clothes into these collapsible cubes that are mesh. One will have my T-shirts, one will have my jeans, one will have my unmentionables. I'll pull one shirt out and all the other shirts are still folded. It makes a huge difference," she said.

More than music

Olson doesn't just write pretty tunes. She's also started two companies, Roadtrip Records and Roadtrip Publishing, so she can license and release her own music.
"I heard all kinds of stories (from other musicians), and they were taken for a ride" by publishing and record companies. "I'm trying to get my songs licensed so when the time comes I'd be protected."

Music, not business, came first to Olson. She picked up a guitar at 13. Her live shows are as enthusiastic as her music, she said.
"I think my show is definitely energetic in a singer-songwriter kind of way," she said. "I tell a story and I get a bit chatty."

Her personal songs help her relate to an audience, she said. "I always try to connect my songs together because they are my life and it is what makes me tick," Olson said.

"I want people to have a perspective on where I was coming from."
- by Sheena Barnett


Reflector
2/27/07

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sarah Olson will perform today in Barnes & Noble. This is the second concert in the "Beans and Notes" series, which began last month with Rebecca Loebe.

Olson was discovered by the Campus Activities Board at a Birmingham conference in October 2006. She impressed them with her passionate style and incredible work ethic.

"[Olson plays] very mellow music," said Patrick Young, Coffeehouse Entertainment Division Head of CAB. "Extremely great for a coffeehouse setting. You can tell that what she writes is from her life and heart. Very personal music. But it also has a certain edge to it. You can tell she's had some downfalls in her life. But you can also tell that she always comes back up. She's completely independent. She's a hardworking gal. She runs her own agency."

Olson's style is quite varied. This makes placing it under a single genre difficult even for Olson herself.

"I guess I've been saying folk pop," she said. "My new album was classified as pop, and my last EP was folk. My parents were kind of hippies back in the day, and I was influenced by all these old throwbacks that my parents listened to on vinyl like Bob Dylan and Bob Seger. I'm kind of a throwback. Kind of folky."

Olson's first album, Acoustic Sessions in L.A., was released in December 2005 on iTunes and soon had risen into the folk chart's Top 10 slot among the likes of Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. She said she's been picked up by 169 radio stations all over the country and XM satellite radio. Olson's relationship with music, however, began long before her successful career.

"I think I was born naturally musical," she said. "My mom took me and my siblings to an audition once, and we all got in this big production of Oliver. It was so amazing to me. I just fell in love with music then. My mom had an old guitar under the piano, and I just picked it up when I was 13. I just started playing. I didn't take lessons, I just figured it out. I didn't go to school for the guitar until 2002. My mom bought me a Marten guitar when I was 15, and I've written a lot of songs on it."

The messages of Olson's songs are quite varied, but all are personal works based on her life experience.

"I write what I know," she said. "Any message is going to be about what I think or I feel or I observe. Some of my songs are explanations of what's wrong in the world. Some are love songs. I definitely have a couple of angry songs."

Olson's shows have a very relaxed, casual atmosphere.

"It will be very laid back," Young said. "It will be her and her guitar."

Olson maintains this friendly atmosphere through storytelling and casually conversing with her audience.

"I am very chatty when I sing and play," she said. "I try to explain what made me write the song. I try to capture what was going on for me when I wrote the song and why I wrote it."

Olson's Mississippi State show is a stop on her college tour, which she's thoroughly enjoying.

"The tour is a blast for me," she said. "I'm having so much fun. The album is picking up steam, and people are responding."

Playing colleges, however, has been a bit of an adjustment from her usual club audience.

"It's kind of a different crowd," she said. "But for me, it's so fun. The person I'm playing for is that person who wants to hear my music. I always sing for the person who cares and wants to hear."

For her Mississippi State show, Olson intends to play a wide variety of original music, along with covers of old favorites.

"I'm so excited to come to Mississippi State," she said. "My show's an hour. I'll probably do a mix of my favorite writing of my own and my favorite writing of others. I'm going to play my favorites. I'm going to do what I do."

Olson's show will begin tonight at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information visit CAB's Web site at www.msstate.edu/org/cab, Sarah Olson's Web site at www.saraholsonmusic.com or call CAB at 325-2930.


Sarah Olson will play her folk-pop music at Barnes & Noble tonight.

- Matt Clark


Press Reviews

Top Ten Songwriter Olson on Radio
Roadtrip Publishing
Press Release
Feb. 23, 2007
Los Angeles, CA


TOP TEN SONGWRITER OLSON
RECIEVES RADIO AIRPLAY

Sarah Olson, the Los Angeles-based singer songwriter whose short album reached the top ten of the iTunes folk chart last winter, is receiving radio airplay on more than 150 stations nationwide.
"It’s amazing,” said Olson, president of Roadtrip Publishing, a California music publishing company. “When I play in a club, I reach a couple of hundred people. When I play on the radio, I reach thousands.”
She is traveling, in the midst of a nationwide college tour.
Olson’s live, four-song record, "Acoustic Sessions in LA" debuted on iTunes in the top ten of the folk chart last winter, along with Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens' albums.
Her first album, "Maybe I Can Change", hit number three among Panartist's new releases, the London-based company that is distributing the album. Panartist represents more than 5,000 artists.
Her songs are now being downloaded in 15 countries through iTunes, including the UK, Japan and Australia.
The college tour began in January and extends until May. Olson will be playing at more than 30 colleges across the country, including Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, TX; the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, NC; and Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.
She said she feels a close connection to her audience.
“They understand me,” she said. “They look me in the eye, and they understand what I’m talking about. That’s what’s so great about it.”

Students who listened to the music were asking for autographs and quoting her lyrics.
The college shows were arranged through the National Association for Campus Activities, which links artists with representatives of colleges booking talent for their campuses.
Her CD, "Maybe I Can Change" was released in October. It is available on iTunes and can be purchased or downloaded through her website www.saraholsonmusic.com.

- Roadtrip Publishing


Discography

"Maybe I can Change" - Album released Oct. '06
Crush
Last Saturday
Maybe I Can Change
Heart Shaped Bruises
On the Inside
Paper Dolls
Picture Frame
Anything at All
Hold Me Now
Revolving Door
You Belong to Me

"Acoustic Sessions in LA"- live EP released Dec. '05
Hold Me Now
Anything At All
On The Inside
You Take Me Down

Photos

Bio

Sarah Olson, Alternative Folk

Call it folk music with an edge.

With soulful vocals and a universal message, Los Angeles-based singer songwriter Sarah Olson has found a growing fan base and caught the eye of established singer songwriters in California.

Her first set of songs, released on iTunes in December 2005, rose on the folk chart immediately, landing her in the top ten along with Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. Olson recorded her first album, "Maybe I Can Change", this summer. It includes three of the four original songs from the short album.

"This is my dream," Olson said. "I'm living it."

Olson grew up in Washington, D.C. and began writing music at age 13. She played in D.C. area clubs as a teenager, then lived in New York and Colorado, working as a nanny, bartender and housekeeper to support herself while songwriting.

She wrote one of her most popular songs, "Hold Me Now," at age 19, while strumming on her mother's guitar in the middle of the night.

She was discovered as an artist while cleaning the house of an owner of a Los Angeles-based record label.

Olson moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to start from scratch as a songwriter, where she released the live short album that rose on iTunes. Since then, she has been playing for packed audiences and performing live on radio. She launches her first college tour this fall.

Olson earned a degree in guitar from the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, and owns the music publishing company Roadtrip Publishing.