Hailing from San Francisco of Austrian parentage, Olga is among the vanguard of new blues artists combining innovation with a deep sense of roots. Though listening to her soulful voice youd swear no other soil but the Deep Souths could have reared this woman, her hardy carnivorous appetite attests to the Austrian blood coursing through her veins!
Having received classical training in voice, piano, and violin from a young age, her friends guitar and Jimi Hendrix: Blues soon kidnapped her mind and soul. At first she was hesitant. She’d somehow become convinced that a white girl couldnt sing the blues. People still register disbelief when she tells them she’s a blues maker.” Then they hear me and they really cant believe it!”
Olga now calls Memphis and New Orleans homes. In addition to her extensive gigs producing local and nationally syndicated radio shows, she participated in Martin Scorceses documentary on the blues with Jessie Mae, North Mississippi Allstars, T Model Ford, Otha Turner, Corey Harris and John Spencer Blues Explosion. She’s shared the stage in recent years with Coco Robicheaux, Robert Randolph, DJ Logic, Chris Isaak, Papa Mali, North Mississippi Allstars, Jimbo Mathus Knockdown Society, Los Lobos, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jim Dickinson, Johnny Neel (Allman Brothers), and Matt Abts (Govt Mule).
She played the Pepsi Arena as backup for Gene Chandler, Edie Holeman, and Carl Carlton, the Denver Lilith Fair in 1999, and showcased at the 2001 CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. Her new stomping grounds include Tobacco Road and the Living Room in New York, the Young Ave. Deli and Full Moon Club in Memphis, and Dos Jefes Cigar Bar and House of Blues in New Orleans. Additionally, Olga co-engineered on Elvis Costello’s Grammy nominated song, “Monkey to Man” in 2005 and founded the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation to honor her friend and mentor, Jessie Mae.
Olga and husband Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) own Delta Recording Service Studio in Como, MS.
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