Stream or download Episode #71: Episode 71 w/ Birger Olsen
They don’t make ’em like they used to. Truer words were never spoken, or in this case sung by Birger Olsen, the quiet and steady guitarist from the band Denver who explores his smokey blues side on a new six-song solo record, “The Lights Just Buzz.”
Birger stopped by The Helm to share some stories and songs and promote the new release for Episode #71 of That Much Further West Podcast.
Listening the new record, it’s easy to understand why it’s creating such a strong early buzz in the Americana scene. Birger taps into a mysterious, bluesy vein he says has long been at the root of his musical foundation, revealing the influence that several of his musical heroes have had on his writing — artists like Taj Mahal, Lyle Lovett and Ry Cooder.
On this episode, Birger talks about his decision to record the six songs on the new release with the help of musical partner Ben Nugent, who guided the recording process and added a few special touches to help him convey a sort of nightclub vibe — a music noir if you will — that oozes from the record. He also speaks of his musical upbringing and how he first got into playing country music only after arriving in Portland, and how he formed Denver with a few of his musical pals in his adopted hometown.
Birger also shares of a couple of gem-like live solo acoustic performances from the new record: the title cut, and another called “Slow Bone.”
On June 30, Birger will be celebrating his record release with a show at Mississippi Studios in Portland along with Kele Goodwin and the rest of Denver. To pre-order “The Lights Just Buzz,” due in stores later this week, visit the dedicated Mama Bird Recording Co. page. Also, watch for Birger at the annual Americana Music Association festival in Nashville in September.
In the meantime, dial up the podcast and give it a spin! Here’s the playlist for Episode #71:
The Lights Just Buzz, Birger Olsen
You Look As Sweet (Live In The Helm), Birger Olsen
Sweet Mama Janisse, Taj Mahal
God Will, Lyle Lovett
Tattler, Ry Cooder
Bird In The Morning Dew, Denver
Rabbit Dancing, Denver
Slow Bone (Live In The Helm), Birger Olsen
Hummin’, Birger Olsen