Kristina Olsen 
Folk singer, songwriter and recording artist
Performance: Saturday
July 16, 2011, 7:30 PM
What the Critics Say

“Olsen, an itinerant troubadour who regularly graces Australian folk festivals, was at her most engaging. Such was the candour of her songs and chatty tales that it would impossible for anyone with blood in their veins not to empathise with her. Her full-throated voice and crisp guitar served up such diverse subject matter as crop- dusting and prostitution, while a revealing yarn about life- drawing classes introduced The Truth of a Woman. From her new CD came In Your Darkened Room, the title track to an album containing some of her finest work, a black frost edging her usual warmth and humour.” —John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“It is indeed a rare occurrence to be so completely captivated for an entire concert by one person and a guitar, but American singer/songwriter Kristina Olsen certainly managed this and more, delivering a highly entertaining show to a capacity audience for over two hours.  From her opening songs I felt that this was a person I had known for much longer, the supreme accolade any storyteller can wish for. The audience of predominantly fortysongethings loved it, demanding that Olsen return to the stage for three encores.”—Patrick Shepherd, Christchurch Press, Christchurch, New Zealand

“To begin with the songs, they are those wonderful gems of song writing which don’t rely on any particular genre for their beginnings. Olsen builds melodies, not styles. She can wind them into unpredictable combinations which then become lovely melodies or she can deliver them in straight lines which become jazz- or blues-oriented pieces. Her guitar stylings are wide, ranging from delicate, complicated runs to aggressive direct blues runs. She’s a sharp guitarist, able to provide herself with both the rhythm and lead pieces she needs to give her songs solid solo support. As a storyteller, Olsen is similarly wonderful, mixing earthy observations about herself and those around with the occasional comment about society’s various shortcomings. Most of all, though, Olsen is funny, noting those things which innocently point out where she and all of us provide material for comic relief. She’s talented, funny, and observant, and consequently she becomes the witty friend who shares her life with you, not preaching to you or insisting on our praise to maintain the friendship.” —Roots & Reel

“Olsen is an eclectic artist worthy of much more acclaim.” —Los Angeles Times

“Strong songs and guitar playing, great singing and intimate stories... after hearing it I’m in love with the lady.” —Acoustic Musician

“This is Olsen playing solo to the world, and the results are stunning...playing slide guitar with a fury, finely crafted songs, personal and delivered with fire...” —Folk Almanac

“..wicked blues slide guitar...soon her storytelling becomes so wonderful, and her music so expressive, one realized that the untamed Olsen is more valuable than any slicker version could be.” —Boston Herald

Listen to Her Music

Go to Kristina’s website to listen to her music and checkout her YouTube channel KristinaOlsenMcCabes.

Her albums are available on her web site, Amazon and iTunes. Below is one song and a story (Watermelon Man). It’s the stories and interaction between the artist and the audience that make house concerts uniquely entertaining.

Kristina Olsen is one of the most entertaining and compelling performers on the international folk circuit. A superb multi-instrumentalist (acoustic guitar, steel-body slide guitar, saxophone, concertina, mandolin and piano) as well as an award-winning songwriter with a big bluesy voice, Kristina has audiences around the world coming back for more. Her mix of powerful songs ranging from sassy bottleneck blues to lilting ballads to swing jazz to raunch and roll (as well as her hilarious storytelling) makes for a diverse and satisfying musical experience, on stage and on disc.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Haight-Asbury during the 1960's, Kristina's approach to music and life was formed by that environment of vital cultural expression, social activism and diverse musical influences. She now calls Venice Beach, Los Angeles home but rarely sees it from touring ten months a year.

Her 11th recording ‘Quiet Blue’ hit the blues world in 2008. It is her first CD of all original blues. In 2006 she released her first DVD of live performances and interviews, filmed by award wining documentary filmmaker Cathy Henkel of Australia. 2004 saw the release of Olsen's tenth recording, ‘In Your Darkened Room’ which received rave reviews in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald among others. 2002 saw the release of ‘All Over Down Under’, a live recording from the Australian trio tour with Peter Grayling and George Butrumlis. In 1999 ‘The Truth of a Woman’ was released and was one of the top CDs surveyed in folk airplay. In 1998 'Duet' was released in Australia, a CD of duets between Olsen and Australian cellist Peter Grayling. In the previous six years Olsen released four critically acclaimed CDs on the Philo/Rounder label.