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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

BRIAN OLIVE - Goldmine

Brian Olive
Brian Olive
Alive Records (0095-2)

Brian Olive’s a name unfamiliar to most everyone. Oliver Henry, though, will be instantly identifiable to garage fans, as he was a member of both the Soledad Brothers and the Greenhornes. Now working under the pseudonym Brian Olive, Henry’s put together a new project and delved into other sides of the ’60s entirely. Foregoing garage’s frenzy, his band instead frolic in strawberry fields of psychedelia, albeit fields planted across the deltas and studios of the deep south.

Sure, “Ida Red” and “Calling All Around,” the tracks that bookend Brian Olive, rock and roll in best R&B style, but the Stax-y brass and wisps of psychedelia give the tracks an unusual twist. Retro in style, but thoroughly original in sound, Brian Olive doesn’t so much resurrect Sixties R&B as totally reinvent it. His influences are numerous and diverse – The Beatles, The Stones (Rolling and Roses), Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Stax soul, glamrock, and dreampop. “There Is Love,” for example, is blues filtered through the latter genre, “Jubilee Line” wafts psychedelia through the Stax studio, while “High Low” floods the delta with jazzy brass and big band beats.

Of course, Brian Olive isn’t the first to stitch genres together, they are, however, one of the few to sew them together seamlessly. Their music sounds so totally natural you can walk away from Brian Olive believing that psychedelia, blues, R&B and soul were always intertwined and natural bed-fellows. Reshaping the past, the album presents an alternate musical history where linear evolution is replaced by spontaneous genesis, and what a wonderful creation it is. - Jo-Ann Greene / Goldmine

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