Posts Tagged Mark Fain
It is always good to catch up with a musician I interviewed in the past, to see how their work had evolved in the interim. The last time I interviewed Karyn Oliver was nearly three years ago. The mid-2013 release of Oliver’s new CD, Magadelene, prompted this new series of questions. A great deal has changed for Oliver in the past three years–but I will let her tell you about that.
Tim O’Shea: Since we last spoke in late 2010 (for your previous album, Red Dress) you got married. Has that major life change influenced any of the songs you wrote for this new album?
Karyn Oliver: Well, sure. Anytime you change, your writing changes with you. “Red Dress” was all about a major life change – I was getting divorced, so the album was all about transition and overcoming and becoming. I think “Magdalene” is a far more empowered album. Even the heartbroken songs have some sense of personal power. My narrator is a bit more mature, a bit more confident.
I was recently fortunate enough to email interview Baltimore-based singer/songwriter Karyn Oliver about her 2010 CD, Red Dress (Amazon and iTunes). As detailed at her Facebook page, the CD was produced “by Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith) and featuring an all-star cast of experienced Nashville musicians, Red Dress shows Oliver at her sultriest (Right Now), bittersweetly melancholy (Candy Dish), and playfully flirtatious (Baby Don’t Speak). October Day transforms one woman’s story into a universal message about dreams that are lost and then recovered in an unexpected guise, while June is Leaving shows off Oliver’s gift for looking at the common through an uncommon and captivating eye.” In addition to discussing her music, we delve into the Baltimore-DC Americana scene, as well as her role as the host of WLOY radio’s The Mobtown Couch. Thanks to Oliver for her time and to Pigeon O’Brien for her assistance in making this interview feasible.
Tim O’Shea: I was amazed to learn most of this album was recorded in two days. How logistically challenging was that to pull off? Who were some of the musicians that you worked with and how did Thomm Jutz get involved as producer?
Karyn Oliver: Actually, I got really lucky with the musicians who were available when I was. I sort of squeezed the recording process into my tour schedule. It all worked out so well thanks mainly to Thomm Jutz.
Another songwriter friend of mine, Jeff Talmadge who really encouraged me to record in Nashville, introduced me to Thomm. I sent Thomm some rough recordings of the songs I was working on (most of which had been recorded directly onto my iPhone), and Thomm really liked what he heard. I listened to the work he had done with Nanci (Griffith) and a few other artists, and was very impressed with his range and ability to serve multiple styles of music, which was something I felt my album was going to require. Thomm and I spoke several times on the phone about what kind of recording I wanted to make, and he hired an extremely versatile, accomplished group of musicians based on those conversations. Within a month we were ready to roll.