1. My eyes are puffy and itchy from crying so much yesterday and my brain feels the same. I need to get some work done today so I'm guzzling lemon water and trying to get myself back in the game. Not quite there yet.
2. I keep thinking of Mary Sack. My heart aches for her. It aches for all of us that loved Olney.
3. I've read quotes by him that talk about there only being one chance to play for somebody the first time. I've always thought the video we have of him doing the first song the first time he played is a perfect example of that. It was a big crowd but most of the people had no idea who he was. They knew we loved him but that was about it. I swear you can see him welcoming the challenge…there's just a glint in his eye. As he goes into the spoken word introduction to Sweet Poison, "Jailer. If I've got to drink this SHIT, I want my poison SWEET," you can hear the shocked laughter. Folks had NO idea what was coming down the pike, but damn they LOVED it.
4. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand the whole time…finishing off that first set with a version of lampshades that had people roaring. And watch for that look and laugh he and Sergio exchange at the end of that one (sorry, Mary, I know you hate Lampshades).
5. I didn't know this song when I first heard it at our house a few years later. It's utterly mesmerizing. And it ends with these words:
We all believe the Summer lasts forever
We do, we do. Even though we know better. I knew he'd be gone at some point. But not now, not so soon.
6. I remember vividly the first time we listened to an Olney CD. Ernie had gotten the promo for High, Wide and Lonesome from the record store he worked at. Remember record stores? Remember promos?. We were sitting on the ugly brown carpet in our rental house at the time…95ish… It started off with Walk Downtown and I almost laughed in delight as it started, thinking, "Who IS this guy?" By the time we'd gotten through all those songs and ended with Vincent's Blues we were hooked. It's a magnificent album if you haven't heard it. A great introduction to Olney. The range of the songs is amazing. At one of our house shows he did Walk Downtown for me…and another time Flood of 93.
7. I loved the little shuffle he'd do when he'd get deep into a song.
8. He's known for some stunning, quiet songs…Jerusalem Tomorrow, Women Across the River, etc., etc., but damn he could rock the hell out of that guitar.
9. We'd already been in talks about having him back. We'd penciled in a date for him this year with Brock Zeman.
Not to be and that breaks my heart yet again.
10. I always loved it when other artists played our house and knowing of our love for David would work in an anecdote or impression of him. He was deeply loved by not just us, but so many in our SLHC family.
11. Picture from 2014
12. Reading old blog posts about David. Came across this: "I wandered over to the computer and ended up playing a David Olney video and damn….I felt so much better. It's like drinking water when you're thirsty."
13. Silver lining: when your Facebook feed is full of people mourning David Olney, you know you have good friends.
14. The card we got from him after his last show with us. It still has a place of honor on the refrigerator door.
We'll love you to the end of time, too David.
15. David looking out our living room windows before a show.
2 thoughts on “Fifteen Notes from the Post-Olney Life”
I’ve got just three of his cd’s, my favorite being ‘Dutchman’s Curve.’ I love love love the song ‘Red Tail Hawk.’
He was just so good.
He was something! and will be so missed.
Share about him anytime, it’s nice to hear the songs, read your memories, etc.
Also–the photo of him looking out the window into the backyard is just…beautiful.