b. 18 September 1961, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Best known as a one-time leader of Minneapolis-based roots rockers the Jayhawks, singer-songwriter/guitarist Mark Olson also issued several releases as part of the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers, a unit that at one time included his then wife, Victoria Williams.
Formed in 1985, the Jayhawks’ sound was a mixture of classic rockers such as Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. It appeared as though the songwriter tandem of Olson and Gary Louris would soon become one of music’s finest, but after several albums failed to introduce them to a wider audience, Olson left the band, and promptly formed a new unit with Williams (billed as Mabel Allbright), the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers. Joining the duo was Mike “Razz’ Russell (violin/bass/banjo), with the trio issuing three releases in as many years. On 1998’s Pacific Coast Rambler and the following year’s Zola And The Tulip Tree, the trio was joined by a cast of musicians including Marc Ford (guitar), John Convertino (drums), Eric Heywood (pedal steel), and Don Heffington (percussion). For their fourth release, 2000″s beguiling My Own Jo Ellen, the band’s name switched to Mark Olson And The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers. The subsequent December’s Child included Olson’s first collaboration with former band mate Louris since his split from the Jayhawks several years earlier, titled “Say You’ll Be Mine”.