Mark Olson left The Jayhawks when they seemed on the precipice of "next big thing" status, having transitioned from Flying Burrito Brothers-style country rock harmonizing to Crazy Horse fuzz and thump to something both, neither and more.
His decision to bolt for the desert with musical wife Victoria Williams left The Jayhawks in a tailspin that took years to pull out of.
Olson and Williams then recorded a series of low-key, low-fidelity recordings together under the name Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers, but the end of the marriage also meant the end of the Creek Dippers, and the beginning of Olson's solo career.
During a soul-searching sojourn in Europe, he wrote his new disc, "The Salvation Blues," which walks the line between The Jayhawks and the Creek Dippers, but Olson also injected a little European flavor into the mix before bringing it all back home.
"I decided if they're going to sing about trains and that sort of Americana, then I'm going to give it back to them," Olson said.
He and his international band will focus on the new album when they play The Blue Door tonight.
"The Europeans are fantastic players. I have a violinist from Italy, a pianist-vocalist from Norway and a drummer from L.A.," he said. "Tory Troutman