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Published: 2002/03/20
by Brad Weiner

Sundown and Relief – Olds Station Orchestra

Imagine driving down the road with the window open and the sun
painting on the canvas to the West. The soundtrack to this event would
need to be perfectly mellow, uplifting and lyrically pleasing. Although
are numerous records that could fill the musical void, I would definitely
enter Olds Station Orchestra into the category.
Their 2001 release Sundown and Relief’ comes from a myriad of musical
styles, none of which are perfected, but all of which are energetic
and well rehearsed. The opening track, "Fortunate One", is a folk rocker
with truly marvelous harmonies provided by Heather Moser, the band’s
bassist and one of three members who is given a credit for the hand
claps that appear on the album. Guitarist Jacob Hessburg can definitely
play. Hessburg always keeps his tone subtle and solos just long enough
to be interesting but never wanders into the mindless noodling of mediocre
"Poker Player Dreams," is a thoughtful and groovy tune that borders on
funk, but never crosses into the lugubrious boredom of junk bands. Olds
Station Orchestra thrives on the solid percussive track provided by Owen
Barnhart. In almost every tune there is the presence of both drums and
percussion, balanced perfectly and mixed up with solid ride cymbal
triplets that keep the music soaring.
"McGlinn’s" is one of those songs that can become an instant favorite
depending on the condition of your heart. The tune starts with an acoustic
Dave Matthews-esque guitar lick provided by the Bryan Kostors. After a
minute of thinking, it follows the pattern, and bleeds into a free
flowing tribute to a favorite bar or restaurant after which the song is
named. Olds Station Orchestra writes striking lyrics that have a foundation
of optimism, but always steer clear from the cheesy free-love motif. One
verse of "McGlinn’s" states what most music fans feel. "Yes, it’s falling
apart/When the music starts, I’ll be fine." Simple. Easy. To the point. That
is what makes the sound of OSO sound so refreshing. They never try to
expand beyond their own musical limitations and, by doing so, have created a
solid recording that no folkie’s collection should be without.

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