Players' Gallery: A K
Pat Alger is a renowned songwriter whose songs have been performed by many famous artists, including Katty Mattea ("She came from Fort Worth,"), Nanci Griffith ("Once in a Very Blue Moon,") Trisha Yearwood ( "Like We Never had a Broken Heart,") James and Livingston Taylor ("City Lights"), Garth Brooks ("The Thunder Rolls," "Unanswered Prayer," and "What She's Doing Now"), George Strait's ("Going Gone",) and Don Williams ( True Love,") to name just a few.
Country music artist Clint Black recently purchased an Olson SJ cedar top guitar. Clint was kind enough to send Jim this nice studio shot of him holding the guitar. You may have seen Clint recently on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice, and on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. To see if Clint and his band will be performing in a town near you, check out his website clintblack.com
Jonatha's unique songwriting, singing, and guitar playing (she often uses the unusual altered tuning, Eb Bb Eb F Bb Eb) first came to national attention when she performed as a duo with Jennifer Kimball, together comprising The Story. More recently Jonatha is performing as a solo artist. She plays both an Olson SJ and a Guild jumbo, favoring the Olson for songs in tunings close to standard, and the Guild for open Eb sus 2 and Eb maj 9 (no 3) tunings. You can find out more about her at the Jonatha Brooke web page.
Born in Nashville and raised in a musical family, Michael Card mastered guitar and piano early in his life, but went to school to study scripture. There he was encouraged to write songs for weekly worship; this musical "diversion" soon became his occupation! His friend Randy Scruggs produced his first album; later albums would win Card the coveted Dove award and respect from fans and peers alike as both a musical talent and a man of integrity. You can learn more about the music and ministry of this talented writer, singer, and instrumentalist at The Michael Card Official Web Site.
Jim Cole was our inaugural Featured Artist. To read more about him and to access MP3 samplings of his playing, visit our Featured Artist: Jim Cole page.
Perhaps best known as one of the distinctive vocal and guitar voices comprising the legendary lineups CSN and CSNY, David Crosby continues playing, writing, recording, and touring internationally in the trio Crosby/Pevar/Raymond (CPR) as well as with his longtime bandmate Graham Nash. A devoted fan and friend offered Crosby the gift of an Olson of his own design in 2003. He received it in May and immediately wrote Jim: "I played it for hours... it sings... it is a bell... so totally wonderful... absolutely amazing craftsmanship... I am in love... Extensive information about Crosby's past and current musical activities can be found at the David Crosby and CPR web site. as well as at the Crosby and Nash page.
Brian Doerksen is one of today's premier worship songwriters and leaders. Winner of the Gospel Music Associations
Justin Hayward is best known as the guitarist for the Moody Blues. Although he still tours with the Moody Blues, he also writes, records, and performs as a solo artist. There are several web sites devoted to the Moody Blues; two good starting points for blue-mood web wanderings are the The Official Moody Blues Web Site There is also the Justin Hayward web site, focusing on his solo career. Justin's Olson is prominently featured in his Justin Hayward Live in San Juan Capistrano video which you may have seen broadcast on your local PBS station. It is available from his web site where you'll also find video clips. You'll also see his Olson very much front-and-center in the Moody Blues Live at Redrocks, Colorado video.
Ric, a happy cedar-topped SJ owner, has played guitar with two other Olson owners of note, Phil Keaggy and David Wilcox. In fact, Ric produced Wilcox's recent Turning Point album. He also co-wrote and performs on "Soul Song" from Wilcox's What You Whispered album (as does Phil Keaggy). Ric was a founder of the group Over the Rhine, and has shared concert stages with such artists as Margaret Becker (that's him playing beside her on her Front Row video), Adrian Belew, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls, Bruce Cockburn, and Larry Norman--whoa! Ric's current project is a band called Monk; you can find out more about Monk at the Monkusic.com web site. Ric even has an Olson guitar page at Monkmusic---thanks, Ric!
See our separate Phil Keaggy page.
Wes King is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who says of his contemporary Christian folk/pop songs, "I hope that this music serves to encourage those who listen to go to the Source." His web site is currently under construction. In the meantime you can find out more about him in a delightfully informal interview with him and Phil Keaggy titled Coffee Talk: Phil Keaggy and Wes King. Read carefully, and you'll find some playful comments about their Olson guitars! Click on this thumbnail photo of Wes to view a photo of him and Phil from the interview. Wes teamed up with Phil and fellow Olson player Scott Dente (from the duo Out of the Grey) to record an album featuring both instrumental and vocal performances on electric and acoustic instrumentsInvention. You can glimpse their Olsons in the album artwork.
Wayne Kirkpatrick is probably best known in the music industry for his behind-the-scenes roles as a gifted songwriter and sideman. He has written dozens of songs performed by contemporary Christian music luminaries such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Gary Chapman, for which he has taken home four Dove Awards. He won a Song of the Year Grammay Award in 1996 for "Change the World" (co-written with Gordon Kennedy and Tommy Simms), and has also garnered several BMI Pop Awards. In recent years he has also pursued a career as a solo artist, relying on an Olson guitar for much of his acoustic recording. In an interview for Christian Musician magazine's March/April 2000 issue, he explained:
"I was introduced to the Olson by Phil Keaggy. He was doing a session for me on a Susan Ashton record. Of course anything he plays he makes sound good, but this guitar sounded great. So I asked him about it and he handed it to me. After playing it, I called James Olson and got one."
Leo plays a 6-string Olson guitar with Indian rosewood back and sides, as well as his Taylor signature 12- and 6-string guitars. You'll find lots more info about Leo at his official web site, LeoKottke.com, and two in-depth interviews (from 1994 and 1999) at Anil Prasad's Innerviews artist interview site.