Just as important for Olson is that the long-delayed project marks a high point in a recent twist to Olson's resume: her work as a record producer, somehow still a rare achievement for a woman, and the source of unexpected new forays into jazz and other styles.
"This is our party, so I'm going to be as silly as I can be tonight," Olson says from the stage. But silliness is not her specialty. Instead, it is a darker, muscular rock sound steeped in roots and "classic rock" radio.
That lineage shows clearly on "The Ring of Truth," which was completed last summer. Olson's title song is the kind of thoughtful ballad on age and rebellion that could easily fit into the repertoire of a Jackson Browne or Bonnie Raitt.
It's been a long time in the making. There have been regular club shows and overseas trips between production gigs, all of which have helped keep the bills paid. But Olson acknowledges that her career as a recording artist was largely "waylaid" over the last decade.
"I haven't had a record deal in a long time," says Olson, who lives in Studio City with her husband and longtime manager, Saul Davis. "And keeping a band together is really tough. When you get older and you get families and people to support, it's not easy to keep a band together. And I like playing with the same people."
The Ring of Truth is super and fans of female roots rockers from Lucinda Williams to Marti Jones should listen up. The songs are memorable and tight, Olson's voice is strong throughout, and ex-Stone Mick Taylor sounds as great on bluesy lead guitar as ever. She still looks great, too.
And don't forget her production work:
- "It's a very good album," says Taylor, speaking from his London home. "Once she sent me the finished album, I was really surprised with how bright and powerful and sparkling the production was. She's learned to become a very good producer."