Meet The Olsons: Bragg Jam 2017
A little over two years ago, I would walk the hallways of Mount de Sales Academy and repulsively trek past the science department, because chemistry is certainly not my forte. Because of my distaste for chemistry, I rarely saw Mrs. Georgia Olson, the school’s chemistry teacher, unless she was standing behind a lab desk to teach my younger brother. This year, I am seeing her away from the lab desk and now behind a microphone at Bragg Jam, joining her husband Brian in The Olsons.
I have had the pleasure to approach Georgia and ask her questions on music rather than molecules. Read more as she shares with us The Olsons, the hip duo Bragg Jam is introducing to us this summer.
Q: What emotions are you feeling about performing at this year’s Bragg Jam?
G: We are super excited. Brian performed last year with Charles Davis, but this will be my first time performing at Bragg Jam. It is such a great event for Macon and it is an honor to be a part of it.
What sound can Macon expect to hear from The Olsons this weekend?
We do covers of songs from a variety of genres, from Johnny Cash, to the Beatles, [to] The Chilli Peppers, and Norah Jones.
You are from the UK and Brian is from Atlanta. Has the music scene in both locations influenced your sound?
Absolutely. There is such amazing music culture in both places so [there are] a lot of influences to draw from. Sometimes I can suggest a British artist that Brian has never heard of, and vice versa. So it gives us a bigger range to draw from.
Both of you are high school teachers in Bibb County. Have your students expressed their support for The Olsons? Do you expect to see their faces in the audience this year?
We didn’t find out we were playing until after school got out for the summer. We are friends with former students on Facebook and they are always so supportive, so we hope to maybe see some alums in the crowd.
Georgia, I know you have a passion for singing, as you are frequently cast in musicals at Theatre Macon. Are there any similarities and differences between performing in musicals and performing in The Olsons?
The similarity is in finding the confidence in getting up to sing in front of people, and also my vocal training for theatre has definitely helped my voice all around. Stylistically though, it is very different and actually uses very different resonance in my voice to stage work.
I think that you two collaborating as husband and wife is spectacular. How did The Olsons come to be? Did one of you approach the other first or was the decision to perform together at events mutual?
Brian is a trained musician and so he has always loved to play guitar since we first started dating. I didn’t start singing until my late twenties in the church choir, and even then I had a lot to learn and needed to find my confidence. Once I started doing theatre and singing there, we came upon the idea one day that perhaps we should try to sing and play together. It wasn’t easy at first, but once we learn[ed] how to communicate on this new playing field we came to love it and then looked for more and more excuses to perform together.
Have you written any originals recently?
We are working on some, and also my dad is a musician and he is writing some for us too.
Is there anyone in particular you are excited to share this year’s lineup with?
We are excited to be on the same stage as both Bobby Hall and Joey Stuckey as they are musicians we respect very much, and [we] have actually worked with Bobby before. Also MDS alums make up the band Elroy Love who play at The Brick, and they are awesome. The whole lineup is great though and we hope to see as many bands as we can.
What else can you share with us before we listen to you at Bragg Jam?
Just that we can’t wait to see everyone there and get some feedback!
I might’ve shied away from Georgia as a high schooler, but I know this year I’m going to be eagerly approaching the stage to get a full view of The Olsons. Make sure to catch them at Bragg Jam this Saturday, July 29 at 2:30 PM in Piedmont Brewery on 3rd Street.
Sunny in the southern sunshine,