Artist: David Olney
Album: Don’t Try To Fight It
Label: Red Parlor Records
Release Date: 03/31/2017
David Olney is, by any measure, a gritty, no-nonsense type of singer and songwriter. Although he rarely concedes to softer sentiments, his songs cut to the heart of the given circumstance, as much through outrage as through emotion.
Don’t Try To Fight It, Olney’s latest, boasts an unlikely title given the forthright delivery that marks such songs as “If They Ever Let Me Out,” “Crack in the Wall,” “Big Top (Tornado)” and the title track. Olney’s gruff presence often finds his melodies spinning topsy turvy, thanks to an edge and irascibility that best befits one who’s witnessed trouble and turbulence but emerged at the other end of these difficulties regardless. Still, it’s not that Olney doesn’t possess a tender touch; “Evermore,” “Ferris Wheel” and “Yesterday’s News” offer a softer respite from the rough and tumble circumstance that occupies so much of the set. Likewise, when Olney takes a momentary detour to the south of the border on “Innocent Heart,” that celebratory stance is both refreshing and welcome indeed.
Ultimately, Olney comes across as an earnest troubadour well equipped to parlay these jagged tales of rumination and circumstance, resulting in an album of weathered rumination that skims the rich top soil of arcane American music. A sturdy blend of full-on rock ‘n’ roll, turgid rumblings and added elements of blues and roots, Olney remains feisty as ever, and with Don’t Try To Fight It, he remains undefeated.