Poor Mark Olson seems completely lost on his latest solo release, The Salvation Blues. He's always done his best work while collaborating closely with a singing/songwriting partner, whether it's Gary Louris in the Jayhawks or Victoria Williams in the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, and even though Louris comes in to add harmony vocals on a couple of tracks, it's not enough to bring the magic out of Olson.
Certainly, session producer Ben Vaughn lacks the studio genius to make up for Olson's shortcomings. It's no surprise that what you get are the black-and-white song sketches of a beaten strummer waiting in vain for someone to come along to colour them in. Swell book-bound packaging, though.