Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

History Of Hans Olson
hans olson
HANS OLSON CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1973: Hans is the opening act for his first major concert (22,000 people). He opened the show for The Allman Brothers Band and Boz Skaggs....
1973: Hans' first album is released...
1975: Hans headlines the bill at the WHISKY A' GO GO in Hollywood, California. He is one of the very few solo acts to ever headline there...
1976: Hans' second album is released...
1980: Hans tours as the opening act for DAVE MASON. They played over 100 shows together, coast to coast...
1980: Hans headlines the CELEBRITY THEATRE (major Phoenix, Arizona concert hall).  1,400 tickets were sold to this show....
1981: Hans records "THE ASPEN TAPES" record. This recording was produced by WILLIAM E. McEUEN at his Aspen Recording Society studio.
 McEuen managed and produced albums for the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND (his brother, JOHN McEUEN, played with them for 19 years). WILLIAM E. McEUEN
produced the classic album: "WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN?".    He also managed and produced movies for STEVE MARTIN and PEE WEE
HERMAN.   "THE ASPEN TAPES" record featured many top session musicians including:  Al Kooper, ALBERT LEE and MARK NAFTALIN...
1982: TOM FOGERTY (Creedence Clearwater Revival) recorded one of Hans'  songs for an album on the Fantasy record label.  The song, "DEAL IT OUT"
, was the title song for this album... 1983: Hans tours with blues legend BROWNIE McGHEE.  Hans backed up Brownie
on guitar and harmonica.  They toured coast to coast and Canada...
1984: Hans travels to Europe to look for a record label contract.   He spent time in Frankfurt (where he performed on the A.F.N. radio station)
and Hamburg.   He ended up in South Africa where his song "DEAL IT OUT" received a lot  of radio airplay.
1985: Hans performs at the 5th annual "ROCKY MOUNTAIN OPRY" at the RED ROCKS concert venue outside of Denver, Colorado.  Also appearing at this
show were: JOHN McEUEN, ARLO GUTHRIE, DAVID BROMBERG, BONNIE RAITT, RICKY SKAGGS and THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND...
1986: Hans buys a nightclub. THE SUN CLUB, in Tempe, Arizona, featured Blues, Jazz, Country and Modern Rock live music.
  Several national acts appeared there during the 1 years that Hans owned it.  Hans sold the club in 1988 to pursue his musical career
again...
1989: Hans moves to Sonoma County, California (just north of San  Francisco).He spent six months performing around the "Bay Area" 
before returning to Arizona to begin work on a record project called "WHERE'S THE GREY?"
1990: Hans signs a record deal with LA CALIFUSA, SKY RANCH RECORDS in France...
1990: Hans sings the opening and closing theme song for the BURT REYNOLDS  television series: "EVENING SHADE". He also played harmonica on the
sound track. (On the first season only...)
1992: Hans performs at the SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST music conference in Austin,Texas.  MICHELLE SHOCKED sponsored Hans' set at her show at the
conference...
1992: Hans tours as the opening act for MICHELLE SHOCKED. They played all across Canada and the Northwestern United States...
1992: Hans headlines a 40 day European tour. He performed in France, Germany and Austria...
1993: Hans plays harmonica and sings several songs on the TIME/LIFE/WARNER BROS. television mini-series "THE WILD WEST".
  Hans is also featured on the sound track album...
1993: Hans is a featured performer in the musical video "THE MUSIC OF THE WILD WEST", a special production by THE NASHVILLE NETWORK (TNN) on cable.
1993: Hans performs at the prestigious 9TH ANNUAL PEER RHYTHM AND BLUES FESTIVAL in BELGIUM. Also appearing at this festival were: LOS LOBOS,
ALBERT COLLINS, JOHN HAMMOND, DELBERT McCLINTON, THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, C.J. CHENIER AND THE RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND,  SNOOKY PRYOR and
THE JEFF HEALEY BAND.  There were over 15,000 people at this festival...
1993: Hans performs at the FREE WHEELS FESTIVAL in France.   There were over 8,000 motorcycle riders at this annual festival.
1993: Hans won "BEST SOLO ACT" of the year at the ARIZONA ENTERTAINMENT
AWARDS show.
1993: Hans won "BEST SOLO ACT" of the year (readers choice) in the NEW TIMES WEEKLY (Phoenix, AZ weekly Arts & Entertainment newspaper) "Best
of" issue.
1994: Hans plays a concert with Michelle Shocked at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.  This was the "Grand Re-opening" after
extensive remodeling. 
1994: Hans does his 7th European concert tour.  He has played in six countries in Europe so far...
1995: Hans releases second album in France.  "Arizona Blues" is on the Willing Productions label.
1996:  Hans tours Europe for the 10th time.  He has played in  9 countries in Europe.
1996: Hans is inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
1997: Hans has a very bad year. He is in the hospital twice this year. First with a severe blood infection and then he 
broke his ankle very badly. His ankle has six pins implanted to keep it together.
1998: Hans takes a year off from European touring. He tours the U.S. again.  Hans performed in Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota (where he played
at the Broken Spoke during rally week at Sturgis), Utah, Michigan and Idaho.  In September, Hans went to France to  record a new album called "Other Sides".
1999: Hans tours Europe again to promote his "Other Sides" CD. He played with a band for the entire tour.  This was his first full tour with a 
band in Europe. 
2000: Hans compiles his first "Best Of" CD in the U.S. This CD contains  18 songs from some of his 11 previous albums.  He also joins with a new
 record label "Sun Club Records" and expands the availability of his CDs through the label's web site and more record stores than ever before.
 
2001: Hans retires from touring...  He still flys out to one night gigs once in awhile,  but he is only playing in Arizona, most of the time, now... He builds his own Digital 
recording studio and is now concentrating on recording commercials and other recording projects where he writes soundtracks and does "voice work" announcing
projects for Radio and Television..  The record label, "Sun Club Records" formed to release "The Best of Hans Olson, Volume 1" is desolved..Hans continues to sell his 
CDs from the stage and through the mail.
2002: Hans works on quite a few commercial recording projects. He did several voice over  jobs and a few soundtrack projects.  He flys out to a few "out of state" gigs around the
 country including Illinois and Utah.  
2003:  Hans releases "The Best of Hans Olson, Volume 2" on his own label. The New Times Weekly (a Phoenix newspaper) presents Hans with it's first ever 
"lifetime achievement" award at their annual Music Showcase.
2004: Hans spends most of his time working on a project called:  THE ARIZONA MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME (AMEHOF). He helps organize the
AMEHOF and is the President of this non-profit corporation. Hans is also the President of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame (ABHOF).
2005: On April 17th, the AMEHOF has their first "annual" induction ceremony at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix.  They induct 24 people into the AMEHOF at this event.  
FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE AMEHOF, click here:   
 AMEHOF
Hans resigns as President after the event, but remains on the Board of Directors.  He is still the President of the ABHOF. Hans performs in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Hawaii....but, mostly is just doing gigs in Arizona now.
2006:  Hans resigns from both the AMEHOF and the ABHOF.  
After 25 years of volunteer service for non-profit organizations, Hans is now retired from all community service. During his phase of Community organizing , Hans helped to establish and organize: The Phoenix Blues Society, The Arizona Green Party, 
The Arizona Blues Hall of Fame, The Arizona Music Heritage Foundation and the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.
2007:
Hans has been composing songs for TV and film.  In 2006, he has songs placed in several TV shows including: The George Lopez Show, Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and many more.
2008:  
Hans continues to perform around Arizona....
 
2009:
After a couple years of not being involved with community projects, Hans produced 5 large benefit concerts this year.  He 
produced 3 benefits for the St. Mary's Food Bank and 2 benefits for the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame (AMEHOF).
Hans was elected as President of the AMEHOF in October. Hans continues to play shows around Arizona....
 Reviews
"Olson managed a delicate blend of the grim boogie blues of John Lee Hooker,  the wistful introspection of Bob Seger and the raw urgency of early
Bob Dylan..." 
 Joel Selvin-San Francisco CHRONICLE
"Few local performers (in any idiom) enjoy the loyalty and attention he attracts..."
Paul Cantrell-NEW TIMES WEEKLY/Phoenix
"Hans Olson has long been one of the Valleys finest Blues musicians." "Speaking or singing, it's quality entertainment..."
Diane Jordan-WHERE IT'S HOT/Phoenix
"Phoenix musician, Hans Olson, stepped in for the best three song set you'll ever hear..." 
Joe Rassenfoss-ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS Denver
"Among the pleasent surprises at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Denver) was the guitar and mouth harp work of Hans Olson, a first drawer picker and
chucker from Phoenix. At 20 minutes his set was too short, but there is no reason he won't be
heard from again..."  
Pat McGraw-DENVER POST
"Known as the Patriarch of Phoenix Blues..."  
Robbie Sherwood-THE VOICE/Glendale community College newspaper
"Dedicated blues master...Olson is a superb guitarist and is blessed with a rich, resonant,deep baritone voice, he plays (harmonica) easily and
beautifully...a far broader musical personality than is usually found among folk-blues blowers..."
Phillip Elwood-San Francisco EXAMINER
"Best solo act we've ever seen..."     Pat and Barbara McDonald of TIMBUK 3 as quoted 
in NEW TIMES WEEKLY/Phoenix
"The honorable Hans Olson's SOLO tape is just like most of his musical efforts: above and beyond the call of duty!"...Hans Olson's band put out
some killer, flat out, smokin' Boogie. I swear it was better than anything I've ever heard at the Sun Club. They
would have truly given Z.Z. Top a run for their money that night..."
Ron Noah-SOUNDBOARD/Phoenix
"An Arizona legend..."     Virgina Parra-FAST LANE/Phoenix
"Every big city has one: a venerable Bluesman who's been around forever and is invariably taken for granted on his home turf.
  Anyone who's spent a monsoon season or two in the desert can tell you the old man of the mountain in these parts is Olson...
  ...1987 Best Bluesman..." NEW TIMES WEEKLY 10th annual "BEST OF PHOENIX" issue

"Incredible Blues harpist, particularly considering he plays with a rack..."
FRETS magazine NOTEWORTHY section
"Olson is good, damn good, and he deserves some recognition...Olson excelled at his warm-up job and had several people dancing in the
aisles...the standing ovation he received was not a token..."        
Dave Morris PRESS ENTERPRISE Bloomsburg PA
"Local Bluesmaster...The delivery is pure Hans Olson and that's saying plenty..."
Sandy Lovejoy KNIX radio COUNTRY SPIRIT magazine
"Hans Olson's gritty Blues style has placed him alongside of some of the best in the business over his 25 year career..."
Peter Holmes TUCSON WEEKLY
"It's no revelation to say that Hans Olson is one of the best solo Blues artists in the country...Olson's performances (on his "SOLO" album) are
superb...The emotional commitment is evident..." 
 Andrew Means ARIZONA REPUBLIC
"Seated in a chair and pounding his legs in time, Olson blew a harmonica hung from his neck in a rack, strummed and plucked an acoustic guitar and
made it ring like the proverbial bell.  He chiseled individual notes on the harmonica with surgical precision... It was his tough but tender,
dark and smokey voice that served as the jewel in this setting. He wrapped his voice around lyrics, biting off words with uncommon rhythm
and timing. Olson makes no concessions to current trends in the music scene... a straight forward performer who stands before an audience by himself with
ease..."
Joel Selvin SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"It's not that Hans Olson is a Bluesman--even though he is. It's not that he's more or less "authentic" than somebody else--even though he is. 
 It's not even that he's an Arizonan, where you get to invent your own Blues against a wide blue sky, in the dry desert air.  It's the authority that he owns, that he's given himself, that was given
to him. The desert has that kind of authority but it's boring to listen to...Hans
isn't."
MICHELLE SHOCKED
"Up to now Hans Olson has been more of a musician's musician than a household name... First you'll notice the deep resonance in Olson's vocals...He is an
outstanding harmonica player...Try to remember the first time you heard "MUSIC FROM BIG PINK" or George Thorogood's "ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE
BEER", the impact of Olson's music on me was the same..."             
RECOMMENDED TRACKS/GAVIN REPORT
"Hans is one of the least pretentious artists I've worked with. His music is simple, earthy and basic, with a certain human quality that seems to
touch anyone who hears it. He has an incredible voice; rough and gritty but somehow conveying a tender quality in the person behind the voice...
Enjoy it. It's real..."
WILLIAM EDWARD COMPTON Phoenix DJ
Recordings
1973: WESTERN WINDS (L.P. record album) Joplin Records #3266
           (reprinted in 1980: Marshall Records #10320)
1976: I'LL BE GLAD/WHERE DID IT GO ?(single 45rpm record) 
          Blond Sun Records #1001
1978: BLONDE SUN ALBUM (L.P. record album) Blond Sun Records #1002
1980: HANS OLSON SINGS THE BLUES (L.P. record album) Creamo Records
         #1280
1983: THE ASPEN TAPES (4 song 7" E.P. record) Blond Sun Records #1003
1986: HANS OLSON-SOLO (60 MIN. CASSETTE) Blond Sun Records #1004
1992: HANS OLSON (French label C.D.) Sky Ranch Records #652314
1992: WHERE'S THE GREY?  (cassette album)  Blond Sun Records  #1005
1994: BLUES SPOTLIGHT  A 30 minute VHS video produced by the Phoenix Blues
          Society
1995: ARIZONA BLUES (CD album) (France only) Willing Productions #WG951
1995: KACHINA BLUES (CD album) Blond Sun Records #1006
1996: ARIZONA (CD album) Blond Sun Records #1007
1998: OTHER SIDES (CD album) (France only) Willing Productions #WG9801
2000: THE BEST OF HANS OLSON, VOLUME 1 (CD album) Sun Club Records #70882
2003: THE BEST OF HANS OLSON, VOLUME 2 (CD album)   Blond Sun Records #BS1008

2007: ANOTHER DAY WITH THE BLUES (ONLINE ALBUM)   Musik Headz/Fervor Records

COMPILATION ALBUMS WITH HANS OLSON SONGS
1977: KDKB ARIZONA SOUNDS VOL. 1 (one song on compilation album) "EARLY
          IN THE MORNING"
1982:  OMINOUS CLOUDS (one song on "no-nukes" L.P. record album)
          "RADIATION BLUES"  Last Flash Records #71752
1985: ALL STAR RHYTHM & BLUES (one song on compilation cassette)"WHO'S
          TRYING TO RUN MY LIFE?" Tempest Recording #1
1989: 357 MILES EAST OF L.A. (one song on compilation cassette) "PHOENIX
          BOOGIE"  Zia Records #1
1991: TOTALLY BUENO (one song on compilation cassette) "GOLDEN RULE"  Zia
          Records #2
1991: SOUTHWEST HOLIDAY (one song on compilation cassette)   "THE NIGHT
          BEFORE CHRISTMAS"     Fervor Records FVRC01
1992: ARIZONA UNPLUGGED (one song on compilation cassette)  "EARTHMAN"
           Fervor Records FVRC112
1992: HIJOLE! (one song on compilation cassette)  "GODS OF HARDBALL" Zia
         records #3
1993: STUDIO Z LIVE  KZON radio (one song on compilation album) "WALK ON"
          INDIO RECORDS #ICD-9302
1993: BLUE SAGUARO (one song on compilation album) "ONE OF THESE
           MORNINGS" FERVOR RECORDS
1994: THE MUSIC OF THE WILD WEST (five songs on compilation album, old
              west) songs, album also features: John McEuen, Crystal
          Gayle, Marty Stuart & Michael Martin Murphey. ASPEN RECORDS
1995:  STUDIO BRUSSELS-BLUES TOWN  "I FEEL LIKE COMING HOME"
            (Belgium only)  DINO MUSIC DNCD1425
1996: DESERT BLUES- (one song on compilation) "Phoenix Boogie" cdgb's #1
1997: JAZZ,RHYTHM & GROOVE (one song on compilation)
       "50 UPS AND 50 DOWNS" OOYA RECORDS
1998: BLUESTOWN (two songs on compilation) "NEW MOON TROUBLE" 
      and "KID BOOGIE WOOGIE"  12TH STREET RECORDS TS3002
2003: SHIFTING GEARS (title song)  Artdream Entertainment
2003: 2 HOURS FROM ANYWHERE (one song on compilation) "DANCING SHOES"
          PERFECT CIRCLE RECORDS 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




STUDIO SESSIONS AND ACTING CREDITS

Hans has been doing studio session work since 1971.  At that time he was hired to 
write and perform radio advertisements for KIRK'S ELECTRONICS (a Tempe, AZ 
electronics repair company).  These ads were aired for years in the Phoenix area.  
Hans has recorded several radio station identification ads for radio stations including:
  KDKB, K104, KSTM, KUPD and KZON.   These were all Phoenix area stations.  
 Hans has played harmonica and guitar as a "special guest" on countless album 
projects in Arizona. 
Hans now owns his own recording studio and writes, records and produces
 commercials for television, radio and soundtracks for motion pictures.
VOCAL, GUITAR AND HARMONICA SESSIONS:

"KNOELL HOMES-CONFIDENCE BUILDER"  television and radio ads
 (wrote the music and performed the vocals, guitar and harmonica)
"BLUES FOR BUDER"   "B.L. STRYKER" starring BURT REYNOLDS.
Prime time T.V. Series              (harmonica)
"MAN OUTSIDE"  film starring Robert Logan, Kathleen Quinlan, Bradford Dillman
 and three ex-members of THE BAND (LEVON HELM, RICK DANKO AND GARTH  
HUDSON). This movie was released through VIRGIN VISION FILMS  (harmonica on 
the soundtrack)
"GOOD OLD BOYS"  television movie staring Tommy Lee Jones
Music produced by John McEuen   (harmonica on soundtrack)
"EVENING SHADE"   starring BURT REYNOLDS        CBS television series
(harmonica on the soundtrack and sang the opening and closing theme song)
MEGA  FOODS television/radio ad featuring STEVE LANDESBURG (from the 
BARNEY MILLER T.V. show)  (guitar on soundtrack)
 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC television special  "BRAVING ALASKA"
(harmonica)
TIME/LIFE/WARNER  television 10 hour mini-series "THE WILD WEST".   
 (harmonica and sang several songs)
BURT REYNOLDS T.V. MOVIE "PREMONITION"
(guitar, harmonica and sings several songs on the soundtrack)  
VOICE-OVERS, RADIO AND T.V.

CONTRACTORS SEMINARS.................VOICE OVER..................................(IN HOUSE)
KIRKS ELECTRONICS.........................VOICE OVER..................................(IN HOUSE)
KZON 101.5FM.............................."voice" of Phoenix radio station...........KZON 101.5FM
CYPRESS BAYOU CASINO................VOICE OVER.....................................Motta Agency
WB 61......................................................VOICE OVER......................Warner Brothers cable  
DIAMONDBACKS SPRING TRAINING '99.............VOICE OVER............SRO Communications
JOHN EAGLE HONDA ...................SINGING & VOICE OVER.............Snuff Garrett Productions    
DIAMONDBACKS SPRING TRAINING '00.............VOICE OVER............SRO Comminications
PHOENIX MERCURY..............VOICE OVER/MUSIC/SINGING.................SRO Comminications
AZ. CONTRACTORS SERVICES..............VOICE OVER/MUSIC PROD................(IN HOUSE) 
INDUSTRIAL NARRATIONS
MARICOPA SKILL CENTER...........VIDEO VOICE OVER............MARICOPA SKILL CENTER
NON-BROADCAST
AZ. CONTRACTORS SERVICES...TELEPHONE MESSAGE PROMPT..(IN HOUSE)
FILM AND TELEVISON SOUNDTRACKS:

"DESERT ROSE" produced by Michael Palermo
"HORSES TODAY" television show.  Produced main intro theme song
"COLE YOUNGER" a film by Bob Boze Bell
FEATURED FILM PARTS:

Hans appears in a local independent film: "HACK" .
He played the part of "Osborne" with 4 speaking lines and a death scene.
  "THE MAKING OF THE MUSIC OF THE WILD WEST"
THE  NASHVILLE NETWORK'S video special   (appeared as "Rebel Soldier" on two video clips)
Hans appears in a local independant film "Dante's Arizona". 
He plays the part of "Jimmy the Jackalope".

BACK TO MAIN PAGE