Nashville songwriter and friend to many Kevin Faherty, writer of “Singer-Songwriter Heaven” and other brilliant songs, was good friends with Dave Olney, who died yesterday. These are his words in memory of his friend.
If you were to put Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and David Olney in a room, Olney would be the last man standing.
He really was that good.
David had the best handshake in the world. We bonded in my early days in Nashville talking sports. Mostly Red Sox baseball and Boston Celtic basketball.
Shocked and saddened by the loss of Dave Olney. I had been running into him a lot at our local coffee house the last few months. He always was reading a book that was larger than War and Peace.
Always willing and ready to lend a hand, he played at my wedding. Sang on a demo of a song I wrote. Sang on my CD. Came over to my house to play once because I had a friend in town who hadn’t heard him and he had no gigs in Nashville that week. It was all Dave’s idea.
Not only was he an unparalleled songwriter he also was a magnificent performer even on nights when there was only a handful in the audience.
I do remember one night when he said, “When I want a quiet night to myself in Nashville… I book a gig.” However, there were nights when the club would be packed and he would levitate the room. One night after he had just knocked the place out we were at another bar celebrating after his show. He was still running on adrenaline. He looked at us and said about himself, “I was fucking great!!” And there wasn’t a hint of ego involved. It was just a fact and he knew it and we knew it. Like a great athlete who just hit the winning shot to win the championship. The proof was in the work.
NBA Hall of Fame member Isiah Thomas was talking about Larry Bird one day and said this:
“If you put all of us in a room in a room you know Magic, Jordan, myself and Bird. Bird would probably be the one who walks out of the room at the end of the day.”
If you were to put Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and David Olney in a room, Olney would be the last man standing. He really was that good.
Blessing to Gina, Lillian and Redding. Also to Mary Sack who did a such terrific job managing Dave.