published Friday, May 13th, 2011

Olive is single, free and loving it


Q&A with singer/songwriter Brian Olive


What: Brian Olive and Mean Daddy Jack and the Noise Complaints.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: JJ’s Bohemia, 231 M.L. King Blvd.

Admission: $5.

Phone: 266-1400.

Venue website:


2009: “Brian Olive”

2011: “Two of Everything”


Brian Olive’s second solo album, “Two of Everything,” drops June 7. The tracks are available for early streaming at

For more than a decade, Brian Olive was a slave to compromising with others. Four years ago, he made a successful break for freedom.

Blessed (or cursed) with a voracious appetite for musical exploration, Olive grew up devouring new artists, working his way from rock to New Orleans R&B to reggae, from Led Zeppelin to Lee Dorsey to Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Then, in high school, Olive began playing in what would become The Greenhornes, a Midwestern garage-rock combo heavily influenced by British Invasion artists such as The Kinks and The Zombies. He stayed with the band six years.

To Olive, that sound was a great starting point; his bandmates disagreed.

“Most of the other guys in the band were saying, ‘This is the sound. We want to sound like this,’” Olive said. “That’s great music, and I love it, but I had different tastes.”

Olive left The Greenhornes in 2002 to join The Soledad Brothers, an Ohio-based garage blues/rock trio, under the pseudonym Oliver Henry.

The Soledad Brothers’ acceptance of a wider-ranging sound was an improvement, but Olive said it was only after he got out on his own that he could give his music the proper shape.

In 2008, after years of touring, he left to “relax for a minute” and try his hand at a 9-to-5 job. Souring on that, he returned to music a year later to begin a solo career in Cincinnati.

His 2009 solo debut was praised for skillfully blending soulful R&B with raunchy garage psychedelia. A second album, co-produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, arrives on shelves June 7.

Tuesday, Olive will perform music drawn from both albums when he takes the stage at JJ’s Bohemia.

After so many years conceding to the musical preferences of others, Olive said he finally feels like he’s speaking with the right voice: his own.

“I’m definitely getting there. I’m closer than I’ve ever been,” he said. “I can do whatever I want without having to make any compromises without — not to sound callous — considering the thoughts of others.

“If something goes wrong, I can’t blame anyone else. It’s all on me. I like that part of it.”

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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timesfreepress said...

Have you heard a live band at JJ’s Bohemia?

May 13, 2011 at 4:04 a.m.
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