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David Olney

One Tough Town – 2007 (Red Parlor)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by David Olney

One of the toughest tasks in reviewing any release by David Olney is trying to nail down the sound. Olney writes with such variety, in addition to quality, and works so often without a net in terms of picking the musical backdrop for his work, that categorization is out of the question.

Such is the case with this release as well. The opener "Whistle Blows" takes a harp and blows it through a Wurlitzer Piano speaker. "Oh Yeah" features a trombone. "Sweet Potato" is a vehicle that proves to be best serviced by a ukulele. You get the idea.

But Olney is nothing if not a masterful lyricist. That quality when combined with a quite unique perspective on life produces an entry not easily dismissed or forgotten. "Who's the Dummy Now?" is the disc's highlight. It features interplay between a ventriloquist who's not very good and a dummy who is tired of holding up the act. Tasty stuff all.