The title of David Olney's new full-length Dutchman's Curve refers to a horrific 1918 Nashville train wreck that was the result of two trains attempting to travel on a single track. And while Dutchman's Curve doesn't attempt to tell that story in literal terms, Olney's songs imagine life as a series of more manageable collisions. A Rhode Island native, Olney came to Nashville in the 1970s and established himself as a empathetic songwriter with a gift for dramatization and a feel for pithy, blues-derived music. Producer Jack Irwin's light touch complements Olney's mixture of Slim Harpo guitar licks, '50s rock 'n' roll and unsentimental balladry. Dutchman's Curve is a literate record Olney's subjects include crime, middle-aged lust and painter Johannes Vermeer. Train Wreck turns out to be metaphorical, but it doesn't stint on the kind of emotional violence that can freeze you in your tracks.
Wed., April 7, 2 p.m., 2010