The Lacombe Globe April 2012

That Familiar Country Twang

By Cayley Dobie/Globe Staff

April 2012

Growing up in Alberta you’re bound to hear a country tune or two. The slow twang of the guitar and soothing voice of someone singing about love, loss, and the prairie fields is a common theme in these melodies. Just like any song, they are written by people who, at one point, shared similar emotions or feelings as you. Music can be touching and poignant. It can speak to your soul. It can make you cry. It can energize you. It can make you smile.

“He played it over and over because he could relate to the song and it touched him so much that he just had to keep hearing it,” recounted Darlene Olson. This one story stands out in her mind when she thinks back over her musical career. A man had been playing her song I Might Slip Again so much that his wife had begun complaining.

Olson, who’s first album Stay Up & Fight was released to European markets back in 2008, is currently touring around Alberta, hitting up rural and small towns as well as larger cities, like Lacombe. With her second album due out sometime in the spring, it”s a good opportunity for her to test out her new songs.

“Country music has always reflected everyday living, people’s lives and life experiences, I grew up on country music and so it seems so natural for me to follow in that genre,” said Olson.

Growing up in Northern Alberta, music was always an important part of Olson’s life. Learning to play the guitar early on she began writing songs when she was a teenager.

“Those typical little teenage songs or those silly little songs that you do write,” said Olson.

Ever since then she’s been writing country songs, getting inspiration from everyday life, from the small things, like a license plate, to major life events, like death and loss.

“It’s amazing where you can find inspiration,” said Olson. “Whether it’d be yourself, your friends, your relatives, sometimes I find inspiration from watching Dr. Phil.”

Her newest single Living Without You, is inspired from conversations she had with people about death and dying.

“That song, I think, is just one of those songs that people can relate to because we’ve all experienced someone coming in and out of our lives,” said Olson.

The single will be released, along with a video, some time in the coming months. Until then, Olson is touring Alberta, playing at more intimate venues, for smaller crowds. She and her guitar player have been putting on acoustic shows for these smaller crowds, including one in Lacombe March 24 at Ugly’s Pub.

“We’re just going out and testing the market for my new upcoming album because we have so many songs that we will be putting on the album,” said Olson.

She has written enough songs to make two albums, but with limited space they’ll need to narrow it down before they put the final pieces together.

“We want to be sure we’re picking the right songs for this new album,” said Olson.

Her newest single Living Without You is a peaceful, melancholy tune that has just enough twang to make any country fan’s heart skip a beat. The song’s theme, loss, is general enough it could relate to any heartache, from death to divorce to lost loves, it truly does speak to a wide audience, as Olson suggested.

“Going out into the rural areas is a good way to get opinions,” said Olson. “Country music in Alberta is quite large (and) so many people in those outlying areas grew up with country music, so it seems natural to take my music to them.”

View the original article here.

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