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Through a Glass Darkly

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Audio CD, January 26, 1999
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 1917 5:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Dillinger 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Avery County 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. JT's Escape 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Little Bit of Poison 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Suicide Kid 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Snowin' on Raton 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. C'mon Through Carolina 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ice Cold Water 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Race Track Blues 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Colorado Kid 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. That's All I Need to Know 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Lilly of the Valley 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Lay Down Your Kingdom 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Barabbas 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Dogwoods 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's David Olney Store


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David Olney BIOGRAPHY By Tony Laiolo:

On the front cover of singer/songwriter David Olney’s new studio album, When the Deal Goes Down, a stone-faced Olney deals you an ace of spades, the mythical Death Card. A similar photo sits inside, but in that one he smiles wryly as cards fly crazily around him. The counterpoint is apt: The music inside mirrors those ... Read more in Amazon's David Olney Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 26, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philo Records
  • ASIN: B00000GWYB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,666 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


American folk music has always been a storyteller's medium. From its roots in Scottish, Irish, and African traditions, it has been a way for plain "folks" to sing out their stories, histories, and myths. David Olney does his storytelling with such far-reaching technique that he's almost more a literary figure than a folksinger. With songs that give shine and sensuality to day-to-day lives, Olney creates a suite of stories that throws light on the complications of his characters. He sings of a French prostitute who can offer temporary respite to a weary soldier, an honest thief, and the "Suicide Kid" who tries every possible way to kill himself but who is rebuffed by Death. His arrangements mix traditional and more offbeat instrumentation, including harps and oboes. Olney's singing isn't what you'd call polished or resonant, but his flat, Western drawl gives these songs the stamp of honest authorship. --Lois Maffeo

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on May 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I haven't listened to David Olney for very long -- I only discovered his music when this album was released, but I went back and obtained everything I could after hearing it. I was so impressed by this release that I knew I had opened a treasure chest of fine songwriting. This man is a storytelling master.
After listening to several of his other releases, and finding a lot of work there to admire (especially the album 'Deeper well'), I found myself returning to this cd again and again. None of the others seem to hold together as a whole like this one does. Not a concept album in the strictest sense, the songs are still linked together by the fact that they all concern events that happened in the first 30 years or so of this century.
'1917' begins the album, telling the story of the horrors of WWI, from the point of view of a Paris prostitute entertaining a young soldier, whom she sees as doomed -- all related with incredible understatement and sensitivity. 'Dillinger' takes the much-told myth of John Dillinger as 'Robin Hood' and explodes it before out eyes (or ears), exposing him for the callous, hardened animal that he was. 'Avery County' contains chilling echoes from the classic 50s Robert Mitchum film 'Night of the hunter' -- 'JT's escape' follows right behind, with some much-needed (at this point) humor. 'Little bit of poison' is a great look at the nature of love, life and relationships -- taking the bitter with the sweet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan-Maarten van Sonsbeek on June 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is more like a project, containing songs about the USA in the first half of this century. More country influences than usual on David Olney's albums. The first 2 songs are my favorites, 1917 about the 'relationship' between a prostitute and her 'customer'. And the second about John Dillinger, who in this song is not much of a hero, but a heartless criminal. Both are examples of the superb story-telling talent of David Olney. And by the way, this album also contains a cover of one of the greatest Townes van Zandt-songs, Snowin' on raton.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J MOSS on September 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The title aptly reflects my response to this CD. Having tasted Olney on the fullsome, 'Wheel' I wasn't prepared for the uneveness of the writing or performances herein. There are some upbeat gems, but too few, and all towards the latter third of the disc from,'That's All I need To Know' through to,'Dogwoods' The storytelling aspect on this album is somewhat dislocated from the musical settings, and prioritised. Apart from my irritation at his rattling off so many names and States from track to track, disorientating in itself, these appellations are employed as if their mere annunciation earns some special pleading for our attention. Crucially, Olney doesn't sound too convinced. There's decidedly more of a countrified feel to this than,'Wheel' but it comes over as a poor man's, John Prine minus the humour, or a John Stewart which is a sad report when Olney, clearly has better material in him.
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