Ellis Storm 7-08-04 002

The calm after a summer storm. It brings peace to the soul.

I have lived and worked on the high plains and find it one of the most awe inspiring places on the planet. When you are able to quiet your mind on the open prairie, take in the rolling earth, and see the sky stretch out forever, it gives the soul a strange sense of belonging.

Music accompanies whatever environment that I am in. It does not matter whether it is in my head, performed live, or drifting from a speaker. I also like when a band connects to a time and a place so strongly that the fit is unmistakable. I remember sitting in a theater in Nashville. I had just sat through “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.” I did not move until the last note had ended. The music and story connected so well that I felt as if I had been in the story, was a part of it.

Amanda (my wife) tells a story of a windmill with a water pump on her grandparents farm. On hot summer days you could draw cold water from the earth and drink from a tin coffee can. I have hijacked the memory as my own and can taste the water and feel the can on my lips, it is a delicious experience that is real to me.

The music of Olassa creates the same effect. The songs transport me to a place of massive expanse and quiet beauty. They are grounded in the earth and in our fragile existence. The harmonies blend like the wind through long abandoned farm houses, telling stories of our brief moments in the sun. It is deeply moving and connects me to experiences I have never had, but now have memories of.

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Olassa is the soundtrack of the American prarie, without being confined to stereotypes. I would guess they are also the soundtrack of any other land and culture that is tied to the earth and human struggle. In my favorite configuration, they are harmony vocals, guitar, tuba, and accordion. When they perform, they become characters from a different time yet the music is not dated or old. It is alive and full of different energies. Enough reading about music, listen and connect.

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Click on this to go to Olassa.comand hear what I am writing about.

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