ABOUT DEREK OLIVE
Modern folk music. Classically trained fingers. Pedal powered hope.
What does a guitar, a bike and an olive have in common? This August singer songwriter Derek Olive embarks on a 10-city, 3 000 km music cycling tour across much of Canada in support of the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot movement. With a Masters in Music and as an Emergency Room nurse, Olive isn't just driven, he's pedal powered to make a change.
Circling the shadows Derek Olive digs into his guitar and sings songs to find where the light comes from. His second CD Mystery & Dust is a daring collection of songs that blend Olive’s fingerstyle mastery with lyrics and impassioned vocals that make us smile at our own imperfections. Creating his own style that feels refreshingly familiar, Olive’s music teeters somewhere between folk and jazz, on occasion hiding behind the blues and pop.
“The first time I ever did chest compressions on a guy who was clinically dead, I felt his ribs crack under my hands – that's normal. A few minutes later, I heard the doctor say "stop!". He now had a pulse. Moving within that mystery between life and death every day reminds me why I work as an ER nurse, fight for the environment, and why I make music. They’re all acts of survival and celebration – celebration of Life, Mystery and Dust”.
Away from the burdens of technology Mystery & Dust was recorded in the woods with an amazing group of musicians and produced by Olive himself. The songs move from foot stompers like the title track ‘Mystery and Dust’ featuring Annabelle Chvostek (formerly of The Wailin’ Jennys) and Joe Grass on mandolin (Patrick Watson) to the gentle violin of Zoé Dumais on ‘A Home for My Heart’. Kevin Warren was on double duty playing drums (Ian Kelly) and engineering the session, while Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and Sébastien Pellerin play Upright bass.
Olive’s coast to coast Canadian tour was by bicycle and saw him hauling his guitar 8151 km for his love of music and the environment. His musical voyages have been as vast, from opening for Peggy Seeger and Stephen Fearing, to having his symphonic works performed in concert halls. Olive has also worked as a producer and engineer for a community CD of music while living in the First Nations community of Waskaganish Quebec, as well as being a performer on the Amnesty international CD "Voices Rising".
Musical inspiration came, not only from the cross Canada trip, but also cycling trips through Eastern Europe as well as Mexico and Central America. A well worn, often repaired Martin Backpackers Guitar was always the first item packed for these journeys.
"Nice melodies that cling to your memory."
Christine Long - CTV
"A talented young musician...
a pleasure to have on stage and listen to."
Peggy Seeger - Folk Legend
"A delightful Canadian piece called Sonic Reveries... a great piece. We are going to hear more from this fine young composer."
Eric Friesen - CBC Radio 2
"Olive's songwriting and guitar playing are destined to win new audiences with every listen."
Brett Hooton - Folksuite101