Though multi-instrumentalist David Olney is a folk singer at heart, he incorporates wide-ranging inspirations from honky tonk to rock into his standard repertoire. Born in Rhode Island, Olney moved to Nashville during the early '70s and became a major player in the city's underground f... more
Singer-songwriter David Olney has been called "one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard," by no less than Townes Van Zandt, who listed him as one of his favorite music writers alongside Mozart, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Bob Dylan.
Generally a folk singer in style, Olney grew up in Rhode Island but has lived in Nashville for many years. He got his first guitar when he was thirteen, and became fascinated by American folk music, listening to the likes of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. was soon digging down into the origins of contemporary American folk by listening to and learning from Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. He was inspired to become a songwriter, and moved to Atlanta, and then Nashville.
His songs create characters, almost as an actor does. He gets inside the head of the people his songs create and develops songs from their point of view. In Omar’s Blues he tackles the unlikely subject matter of Omar Khayyam, applying the poet’s themes to characters both contemporary and Biblical--and it works beautifully.