May 29, 2012 10:40:33 AM
Directed by Declan Ryan
From the album "Whatever You Want"
Born and raised in San Francisco, Olga was classically trained in music as a child. Her parents, who moved stateside from Innsbruck, Austria, encouraged her as she began writing songs on the piano at the age of five. In high school, Jimi Hendrix provided her first taste of the blues. "I began music very early, and started writing songs very young," she recalls. "I got into the business side of things through a chance meeting with a record archivist at a Grateful Dead show in my late teens. He introduced me to Los Lobos and Maria Muldaur, and I apprenticed with Maria soon thereafter. Los Lobos "adopted" me, and let me hang out and observe how they did things. I often sat on the stage during their shows."
The guitar she received for Christmas in her early twenties sealed her fate. By that time she was living in Colorado and working as a radio disk-jockey. It was during this period that she discovered Jessie Mae Hemphill records."At that point, I knew I had to move south, as my real journey was only beginning," Olga remembers.
New Orleans and, later, Mississippi, offered the rich musical climate she craved. Olga looked up Jessie Mae Hemphill in Mississippi, and paid her a visit. The two artists soon discovered, among other things, that they shared the same birthday. "Jessie Mae and I immediately felt a kinship for one another when we met," she says. "She told me that first day that she thought Jesus sent me to her."