During a recent press conference held at Last Exit Live in Phoenix, Olson told the audiences that the record company had been eager for him to start working on a new record. As for him? Not so much.

"I didn't want to do it," Olson says, a grin spreading across his face.

But after 40-plus years as a working musician, Olson has certainly earned his diva moments. Throughout the years he's played alongside names like BB King, ZZ Top, Lynrd Skynrd , G. Love, Social D, Allison Krause, Muddy Waters and Bonnie Ray.

The folks at Fervor knew Olson had more to give, and it didn't take much arm twisting to get him back in the studio.

"When I first started, I considered myself a folk singer, and to me, what that meant when I was young was that I played music from all other folks," Olson says. "So I played all kinds of music and somewhere along the line someone said, 'Blues, man.'"

"I've done a lot of blues albums," he continues, "and the opportunity to do something other than blues was exciting for me."

In contrast to his previous blues-heavy records, Dust to Dust is a purposely more american/honky-tonk style album. Both lyrically and sonically appealing, the album is laced with influences of the dusty desert. With the rawness of his voice and the impact of his words, there is an uncanny likeness to the styles of the late great Johnny Cash, with just a bit more of that bluesy harmonica.

 

Simply put, Olson is a storyteller. Whether it's it's being sung or spoken, the man's husky voice and way of stringing words together draws one in. His versatile voice and timeless sound -- which blends the blues with a raw, folky vocal-quality -- lends to a particular mood and tone, that for Fervor, has proved to be easily placed.

In his time at the record company, Olson's songs have been heard in various television programs and film soundtracks, including Justified, George Lopez, Swamp People, Cold Case, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Criminal Minds.

It hasn't always been so easy for the prolific artist though. In fact, the overall health of the music industry is quite prosperous compared to how Olson remembers it upon first arriving in Phoenix from California. 

The desert of the late 1960s wasn't pumping out much talent, and the talent it did have would pick up and move west to the "City of Angels." But as hard as he tried to branch out, Arizona kept drawing him back in.

"I think it was the fact that I got a lot of work here," he says. "I moved numerous times, but kept getting called back for gigs."

And it was a good thing he stayed. 

Olson has played a key role in enabling a prosperous music scene in the late '80s and early '90s. Back when punk and alternative rock were first taking root, Olson was opening a blues club. It was named the Sun Club, and it was located just a couple blocks from ASU in Tempe. Although it ultimately found more success as a venue for alternative rock bands such as the Gin Blossoms and Nirvana, he helped pave the way for the future of the Phoenix music scene. Then, in 1996, Olson was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.

Now, he is adding to what is already a legendary blues career. To catch him live and hear new songs off of Dust to Dust, check out his schedule of shows here.