Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BRIAN OLIVE - Blogcritics

As a former member of Soledad Brothers and The Greenhornes, Brian Olive knows a thing or two about rock music. His previous bands sought to bring blues back to rock during the same time that fellow contemporary The White Stripes made their meteoric rise.

Olive takes a somewhat different approach with his self-titled debut. While not having the same raw flavor as his previous efforts, Olive does step back a bit to recreate the imaginative sixties by blending the psychedelic and the soulful.

The result is an energetic, yet mellow album that combines the spontaneity of a jam session with the fervor of a never-ending twilight. And it's easy to see why, given that Olive recorded his eponymous debut in a basement vault of a former Cincinnati pawnshop with a whole host of guests — from Jared McKinney and Craig Fox (The Greenhornes), to Mike Weinel (ex-Heartless Bastards), and Dan Allaire (ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre) — to join in the fun.

Brian OliveThe throwback "Ida Red" starts off with a bang ahead of the twangier "The Day Is Coming (Sainte-Marie's Dream)" that screams 'play me' in a packed dive bar. But oddly though, it's the more laid-back tracks like the pseudo-boss nova number "Echoing Light" and the folksy ballad "There Is Love" that actually evoke the most memories of a life better enjoyed without a single care in the world. The same goes for the R&B pop of "Jubilee Line" and the strangely seductive jazz offering in "High Low."

Brian Olive is an extremely diverse album that maximizes the use of simplicity with not a whole lot of fluff and excess. If "Stealin'" sounds rough as if it were recorded live, then you're partially correct. The Ohio-native Brian Olive used analog tape for the sessions and the natural and cool atmosphere is definitely preserved in his brisk, yet filling debut. - Tan the Man / Blogcritics

BLACK KEYS' song I'll Be Your Man theme song for HBO Hung

The BLACK KEYS’ song "I’ll Be Your Man" is the theme song for the new HBO series “Hung”

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Brian Olive (Profile)

Goes from member to bandleader with solo debut CD

By Brian Baker / City Beat

For the better part of the last decade, Brian Olive has been someone’s guitarist — sometimes as Oliver Henry or Henry Oliver — from post-high school outfits to his stints with The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers. When the time finally came for Olive to blaze a solo trail, he had plenty of experience to draw on when considering what he wanted to accomplish as a solo artist.

“I had a lot of time to find out what I was trying to get at by playing in basically other people’s bands,” Olive says. “In both The Greenhornes and The Soledad Brothers, I had kind of a say in what went on, but it’s different than the one we have now where I put it together for this purpose. I kept thinking, ‘If I keep running into this trouble playing in bands …’ Everyone’s got their own idea and everyone’s so fixated on having their idea used that you end up losing something. I always liked playing in those bands, but I felt like neither one of them got to where they could be. Playing in those bands made me want to do it in a more focused sort of way.”

Olive got additional inspiration from a more unconventional source. After reading The Devil’s Anarchy, Stephen Snelders’ history of Dutch pirates in the 17th century, Olive came to the conclusion that the buccaneers ran their larcenous affairs in a pretty efficient manner.

“I’m trying to figure out how to be the leader of a band, because I’ve never done it,” Olive says. “These Dutch pirate captains ran their ships like a true democracy, where everyone had a say and the captain could be thrown off the ship. I was reading this and I was like, ‘I want to model my group after this thing.’ ”

Olive already had a fair amount of material for what would become his self-titled debut album, released this week on Alive Records. Some of the songs date back to his Greenhornes/Soledads days, while some of them were as fresh as the sessions for the album.

“One of the songs I did a recording of with (drummer) Dan Allaire about five years ago,” Olive says. “We ended up using his drums and the rhythm tracks and then I played new horn lines and sang it. That one had been around awhile. I changed it to suit the rest of this album. A couple songs were on a 45 I put out last year. I wrote the rest of the songs as we were recording them. Once we had three or four songs going, I could see what the record was going to sound like. I don’t know if it affected the way I wrote the rest of them or if it was just meant to be that way.”

Like the bands that he has contributed to, Olive’s solo album has a definite Garage/Blues feel to it, but there’s also an undeniable streak of Memphis/Stax Soul running through the album. A good deal of the way the album sounds is clearly due to Olive’s musical vision and influences, but he’s quick to spread the credit around.

“In the past, I would have played a lot more of the instruments, but then I realized I had all these people around that I could call on and do the parts,” Olive says. “And I realized they were doing it as good or better than I would have, because they were coming in with an outside perspective.”

As the lone songwriter on the project, Olive certainly feels as though he was able to draw on a wider array of musical influences to craft these songs. At the same time, he’s philosophical about how those influences are reflected in the finished work.

“I was listening to some of the songs the other day and I was trying to figure out what I was thinking of when I did it,” Olive says. “I think the best songs turn out when you don’t zero in on a certain influence or style or group. I hope that I am drawing on many influences and letting them work their way through me.”

At the moment, Olive is booking essentially local shows — his farthest drive so far will be to Cleveland. But he intends to hit a much longer road very soon, with bassist Max Bender, organist Jared McKinney and drummer Mike Weinel (and possibly more) in tow.

“I called agents I used to work with in the Soledad Brothers — a guy in France and another guy in England — so between the two of them hopefully we can tour in the UK and most of western Europe,” Olive says. “And we’ve got a (booking) guy in the States. We intend to take at least a five-piece band anywhere in the world. We’ve got Holly Kadish (of The High & Low) playing guitar some and organ and filling up space with percussion and doing a lot of singing, too. And we just had her sister Tori come up and sing and she’s busting out the harmonica and recorder, and I’m thinking, ‘That sounds great.’

“Now I’ve gotta tell the label it’s a six-piece band and listen to them cry about it — ‘It‘s too many people.’ Well, we’re not The Black Keys.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BRIAN OLIVE - The Waster

Brian Olive
Holy Toledo!

The Waster

Words by Audra Tracy

The heart of industrial America – The Motor City, The Rubber City, The Blue Chip City, The Glass City – have all been a breeding ground for the outlaws of new millennium blues. An unofficial brotherhood of musicians played the same dingy clubs, stirred up a similar media buzz, and over the past decade, each has slowly gained national appeal. Detroit’s White Stripes hit the airwaves first, followed by Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys, and finally, members of the Cincinnati-based Greenhornes joined Jack White for The Raconteurs in 2007.

Then there’s the elusive Brian Olive. Under the stage name Oliver Henry, he served time for panhandling on street corners, he once wooed Meg White, and most importantly, he was the under-rated multi-instrumentalist for two seminal bands, The Greenhornes and Toledo’s Soledad Brothers. Oddly enough, he was right in the thick of the blues-rock resurgence when he went rogue, changed his name, and started a solo career.

One might think that working with such prolific peers would inspire a parallel musical direction, but Olive claims the very opposite. On his history with The White Stripes, Olive politely shares, “creatively, I think those relationships have affected me in positive way”. Mostly by helping me realize what I don't want to do”, he says.

And so abandoning the alias of O. Henry helped give Olive the clean slate he was looking for. “It was a good time being Oliver Henry”, he recalls, “but now I'm in a more focused state of mind.” That newfound focus has led him to a hippie-like horizon, awakening listeners with a psychedelic sunrise full of fuzzy happy sunbeams.

Olive’s new sound doesn’t come as a surprise - his background in piano and saxophone finds him better suited for soul shakedowns than the sad sack of blues he left behind. Releasing June 23rd on Alive Records, his debut solo album is an abrupt departure from that former self. The self-titled record is more gypsy pop than garage rock, more of a 60’s love-in than a nod to Howlin’ Wolf.

Artists like Olive should never be ashamed of that creative selfishness of going solo – of that urge to hold the reins, to steer the ship. The only shame here is that Olive took this long to record all those repressed musical ideas. Now that he is finally free to write, record, and mix on his own terms, Olive seems relieved. “I'm doing more of everything”, Olive says, “from being there every moment of recording to handling the business. For me, it's good because I know there won't be any cutting corners or cringing while someone makes poor decisions.”

One thing that has remained constant in the Oliver Henry/Brian Olive transition is his penchant for playing all types of instruments. An old Soledad Brothers live review from Crutch Magazine refers to Olive as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”, he wonders. “Never could figure that one out.” At the very least, we can admit he is now master of his own artistic destiny.

In addition to carrying lead vocals, ‘the master’ is also credited for playing guitar, piano, and woodwinds on the new record; but he is quick to credit the polyphonic prowess to his gifted kin. “I started on drums when I was 7 and then went to guitar, saxophone, etc”, he recollects. “My family has many musical people - almost everyone on my mother's side. And my father was a pianist who played ragtime religiously.”

All in all, the new songs are refreshingly upbeat, airy, and adopt that ‘family band’ vibe from Olive’s early days. That ‘family’ consists of Mike Weinel (Heartless Bastards), Dan Allaire (Brian Jonestown Massacre), as well as Jared McKinney and Craig Fox of The Greenhornes. A very welcome addition is Donna Jay and the Kadish Sisters, a vocal trio he recruited to back him on tracks like the opening “Ida Red”.

From note one, Olive officially upgrades the dynamic from old and gritty to bright and pretty. “Stealin’” leads a lo-fi funk parade, boasting a horn section so rich it could start a block party in some neighborhoods. The ethereal “See Me Mariona” whisks you away to that magic hookah bar in the sky, while the beatnik “High Low” kinda conjures up the spirit of “Minnie the Moocher”.

Olive only has a few hometown gigs booked around Ohio this summer, but hopefully he’ll enlighten the East Coast sooner than later. Looking ahead, there’s much more to come from this former blues brother. “More than anything, I'd like to make another record”, he relates.

If you do get the chance to check out his new groove live, just make sure you don’t mention how his album is on your iPod. “Someone gave me an mp3 player a few years ago and I ‘accidentally lost it’ after I heard my music come out of it”, the vinyl-phile says. “I am glad it exists for people who need to hear music and have no good record store around, but it's definitely no substitute for the real thing.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BRIAN OLIVE - Metromix Cincinnati

Brian Olive goes solopick

Former Greenhornes guitarist came back to town to record his new CD
By Allison Cayse
Special to Metromix

June 23, 2009

Local musician Brian Olive gained recognition in the indie and garage rock world as a member of the Greenhornes and the Soledad Brothers. His first solo endeavor, a self-titled album on Alive Records, comes out this week, complete with a couple of local shows. He will also be supporting The Fiery Furnaces when they play Fountain Square August 7.

You’ve been credited as Brian Olive, Oliver Henry and Henry Oliver. What’s up with all the names?
Well, one name—I’ve seen it printed as Henry Oliver—but I never actually used that name. It just kind of—you know, I don’t know where it came from. It was misprint or something. The name Oliver Henry, well a long time ago, I was simultaneously playing in the Greenhornes and the Soledad Brothers, and I noticed that the other two guys in the Soledad Brothers were using made up names. And I thought, "Sure, why not?" The idea was to remain anonymous, I guess. I don’t know, I guess there wasn’t a real reason.

You’re most well known for your work in collaborative efforts like the Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers, but There is Love is your first solo album. What is the difference between creating a solo piece of work versus being part of a band?
I was happy playing in the other bands that I’ve been in, but you know, there comes a point when I have my own ideas and everyone else has their own ideas. And I was never the kind of person—I realized that I was in a band and knew that there was a lot of different opinions coming to the table—but I was never the kind of person who was going to try to, you know, push other people into my ideas. So I just realized that someday I would end up just doing the whole thing by myself, or at least choosing the people who were going to play on it that didn’t mind being part of a solo album. And I found them, so it worked out.

Can you tell me about the process of writing the album?
You know I’ve been actually writing the songs and recording them for years. You know, just trying to put together something that seemed like it went together. A couple of the songs have actually been around for a few years. I wrote them and then finished them up in the studio when we were doing this record. But most of the writing was done—I would start on an idea and get the basic two other people to come in and lay down the foundation of it, and I wrote the majority of it in the studio. For the latter half of it, I spent about eight months writing and recording it.

There are a lot of contributors to the album, can you tell us about them?
Yeah, they’re all friends of mine. And actually Jared McKinney, the drummer on the record, I played with him in the Greenhornes when we started the band. A few of the people are from the band The High and Low, who are from here. They were friends of mine and I heard their music and recorded them a while ago. So when it came time to work on this record, I immediately went to them—mainly Mike Weinel. He was there through the entire recording process. He was right there helping me.

Apparently the album was recorded in the basement of an old pawn shop?
Well, the building that we have the studio in is down on Hamilton Avenue, it’s in Northside. It’s got a huge diamond sign on the front of it. We found out, just by asking around, that it actually was (where we end up building the studio), it was the vault where they kept the diamonds. I can’t really tell you much about it, but I know they cut the diamonds there, and there was a pawn shop there at one time. Actually when the ceiling caved in and the roof top came down…

Whoa, I’m going to need you to back up and tell me the whole story about this and how you ended up in the building.
Well, some friends of ours purchased the building about five years ago. And Mike [Weinel] ended up in there, and it was one of those deals where they were like, ‘If you want to help us renovate the building, you can have one of the apartments.’ So he said, ‘yeah,’ and started working on it.

When I moved back here—I was living in London for a little while—I got to talking to him, and we started saying maybe we want to have a studio. And I was like, ‘Well, I want that vacant apartment that’s in there.’ So I had to rebuild an apartment in there to live in. And it’s also the apartment that’s above the studio, so no one else would want it anyway, because it’s too loud. Anyhow, there’s a rooftop deck outside my window there. A couple of winters ago—you remember when that snow storm came, that huge snowstorm? There were snow drifts. The entire deck was covered in snow and ice, and in the control room of the studio, the ceiling started caving in.

We found out later that there was somebody that tried to do a break-in coming into the vault from the rooftop. And we found the hole where they had sawed into the roof trying to get in. That was the part that, after 20 or 30 years, had finally given way and started to cave in. So then we had to rebuild the studio again. That’s why it took us a little while to get the record done.

What’s it like living above the studio?
It’s great. I’ve got the apartment; I stay there a lot and I can walk downstairs—especially when we were in the thick of it, trying to finish the record. It’s a private studio, so there’s not a lot of people coming in and out. But it is loud as hell when people are in there playing. It’s not too relaxing, but that’s not too often, so it’s pretty nice.

You’ve traveled around and lived in a lot of different places. What brought you back to Cincinnati?
Well, I came back after travelling a lot, shortly before I left the Soledad Brothers. I went to Detroit because I had stayed there before. I was sort of, I don’t know. I like that town and I like all the towns that I went to and stayed. But you know, I’m from here and I missed it. You know I kind of had shed the attitude that I think a lot of people get being around here, that Cincinnati has something wrong with it. And in order to do something that is important or that you feel is important that you have to leave. I mean, I think it’s good to leave and I think that everyone should travel, but I like Cincinnati and I missed the place and wanted to come back.

Final question: What’s your favorite song on the album?
My favorite song? I don’t know. Each time I listen to it, it changes to a different one. Like one day, I’ll listen to it and I’ll think, ‘Aw that’s the best one on there, and then the next day it’ll change to something else. Then one day, I’ll think ‘Oh God, why did I do that?’ and then I’ll hate the song. But then the next day I’ll love it again. So I guess all of them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brian Olive/Soledad Brothers in the current issue of Mojo

The current issue of MOJO with Kings Of Leon on the cover includes the free "ROOTS, FRIENDS AND INFLUENCES" CD, 14 tracks that influenced, inspired and are admired by the Kings Of Leon. The CD includes music by Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, The Kills, My Morning Jacket, and the SOLEDAD BROTHERS, BRIAN OLIVE's old band.

BRIAN OLIVE'S self-titled debut album is out on Alive Naturalsound on June 23rd. The RECORD RELEASE PARTY is set for June 27 @ The Northside Tavern - Cincinnati OH.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Since I missed the '70s and blindly followed the "Proud to be Drug Free" crowd in the '80s, Brian Olive is filling in the blanks for me. If I fell asleep to this record I'm sure I'd dream myself into New Orleans sometime in the '70s, chemical high and all. The music is as colorful as the album cover, and sounds like a stack of beatnik, jazz, and psychedelic records melted into one soundtrack to a '70s brown-hued television show. I think I'm gonna need a brownie. - 3Hive

Tuesday, June 9, 2009



Electrifying psychedelic hard rock band RADIO MOSCOW has announced summer, 2009 U.S. tour dates in support of its shining new album Brain Cycles (Alive Records). Fresh from a successful European tour, RADIO MOSCOW will kick off a U.S. trek on June 15 in Lawrence, Kansas and will remain on the road through mid-August, bringing its intoxicating live show -- which blends the dirty, romanticized feelings of blues-rock’s lament and the acidic and addictive fluorescence of psychedelic rock -- to as many music fans as possible.

Hailing from Story City, IA, RADIO MOSCOW is the brain child of 22 year old guitar prodigy Parker Griggs, who formed the band in 2003. Soon after, Griggs attended a Black Keys show and handed a RADIO MOSCOW demo to guitarist Dan Auerbach who loved what he heard and subsequently produced the band’s eponymous debut. Named for the pre-Cold War precursor to the propaganda outlet ‘Voice of Russia’, RADIO MOSCOW’s amped up, captivating sound harkens back to the glory days of the power trio, when Cream and Blue Cheer ruled the earth and the power of the Marshall stack was unquestioned. Live, Griggs' unbelievable blues-driven, wah-wah heavy riffs and smoking guitar solos have drawn oft-comparison to the great Jimi Hendrix, a flattering compliment that gains conviction with each and every new RADIO MOSCOW live performance.

As Griggs’ guitar prowess and front man live legend continues to grow, RADIO MOSCOW as a unit consistently receives praise for its mind-blowing live performances. The power trio is a true blues-driven rock band in every sense of the phrase and has boiled its lineup down to the essentials: bass, guitar and drums, encouraging extroverted playing from the band members, often at very high volumes. RADIO MOSCOW’s self-proclaimed “Guitar Music” has been called “throwback rock blues as a wall of sound,” that is “at times a romp, trying to uncover that secret to the brilliance of Led Zeppelin II.”

The brand new RADIO MOSCOW track “Broke Down” has been posted online – check out the new song now at this location. Live footage of RADIO MOSCOW recent performance as part of Holland’s famed Roadburn Festival can be viewed now by visiting this location.

RADIO MOSCOW will remain on the road through mid August. Along the course of the tour’s trail, the band will perform as part of the 2009 Deep Blues Festival in Minneapolis, MN and will support legendary doom metal band Pentagram on July 3 at Los Angeles’ House of Blues. A full listing of upcoming RADIO MOSCOW tour dates follows this message.

RADIO MOSCOW’s Parker Griggs is available to speak with interested media now. To chat with the band / attend a live performance, simply contact Carl Schultz at ACTION! PR via any of the means listed below. Updated RADIO MOSCOW news and tour information will be made available via the RADIO MOSCOW online domains: /, the Alive Records website: and the ACTION! PR website:

“If you love classic guitar parts and blues-injected, Trans Am-driving rock, RADIO MOSCOW is right up your road. In fact, you may fall in love with its fist-pumping brand of rock.” – POPMATTERS

“Some think RADIO MOSCOW could be the next Des Moines band to generate some national buzz. They’ve got a record deal, a promising tour, a unique sound (for these times), and a whole lot of talent. Think Peter Green, Cream, Jefferson Airplane.” - METROMIX

“Singer/vocalist Parker Griggs displayed serious chops, pulling off the type of guitar work Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton (Cream) patented. His Orange amp produced the right sound for making blues-based, heavy jam music.” –

“Muscular riff rock à la the Jeff Beck Group” – ALL MUSIC

RADIO MOSCOW tour dates:

June 15 Lawrence, KS Replay Lounge
June 17 Denver, CO Three Kings (w/ Space In Time)
June 18 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge (w/ Dusty Rhodes)
June 20 Boise, ID Neurolux (w/ Deer Tick)
June 23 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern
June 25 Portland, OR East End Tavern (w/ Danava)
June 27 Oakland, CA Uptown (w/ Howlin’ Rain)
July 3 Los Angeles, CA House Of Blues (w/ Pentagram)
July 4 Los Angeles, CA The Nomad Gallery (* FREE all ages show w/ Radio Moscow, Imaad Wasif, Ancestors, Weird Owl, Night Horse and Farflung)
July 9 Austin, TX Red 7
July 10 Fort Worth, TX Lola's Sixth
July 11 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory (w/ The Golden Animals)
July 16 Minneapolis, MN The Cabooze (* As part of the 2009 Deep Blues Festival /
July 18 Ames IA Old Maine Brewery
July 30 Minneapolis, MN Turf Club
July 31 Fargo, ND The Aquarium (Dempsey's Upstairs)
August 3 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle (w/ Blue Song)
August 4 Detroit, MI Hamtramck (w/ Blue Song)
August 6 Rochester, NY The Bug Jar
August 7 Boston, MA The Church of Boston
August 9 New Haven, CT BAR (w/ Heavy Hands)
August 13 Philadelphia, PA The Khyber (w/ Vincent Black Shadow)
August 14 Richmond, VA Nara Sushi (w/ Vincent Black Shadow)
August 15 Baltimore, MD Talking Head Club (* As part of Filth Fest 2009)

Carl Schultz
ACTION! Public Relations/Media & Marketing

RADIO MOSCOW on Scented Vinyl Special

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