Carla Olson

Carla Olson & Brian Ray: “Whiskey Train”

In a city as dense as Austin, we’ve got our fair share of transportation problems. Each year we hear exponentially grander solutions to herding a mass of people from Point A to Point B, including the hyperloop design of Elon Musk’s Boring Project. Those bold, sometimes impractical ideas can lead us to reflect on the milestones of mass transportation that’ve largely occurred in the past century. And when you add cultural capital into the equation, there’s nothing quite like the “iron horse”. That just about brings us to Americana Railroad, a tribute to our nation’s treasured railways. The compilation was conceived by Austinite Carla Olson (who co-founded The Textones with future Go-Gos frontwoman Kathy Valentine in the late ’70s) and puts nineteen iconic covers on a whole new set of tracks. With a roster of high-caliber collaborators, these locomotive etudes pass by like a series of uniquely-graffitied railcars, each with their own spin on otherwise-familiar freight. So before Americana Railroad pulls into the station this Friday, hop onboard a rolling rendition of Procol Harum’s “Whiskey Train” performed by Olson and longtime Paul McCartney Band contributor Brian Ray.