• Mark Olson

With his recent album Many Colored Kite (Rykodisc), Mark Olson keeps one foot in cosmic folk and another in the sweet, post-Gram Parsons sound that initially earned him acclaim as a founding member of the Jayhawks. The new record underlines the quirks of his slightly croaky voice, an instrument with a somewhat unreliable pitch center. He seems to have realized that no voice complements his own better than that of his old Jayhawks partner Gary Louris, and they’ve been working together here and there since 2001. Last year the duo released Ready for the Flood (New West), a lovely, mostly acoustic outing—their first recording since Olson left the Jayhawks in 1995.