High Sierras from Olivia Jo

Fresh off her recent signing with ATS Records, Olivia Jo has a brand new single, her version of Harley Allen’s High Sierras, sung with Rhonda Vincent.

The young southwest Virginia native grew up on bluegrass music, thanks to her dad’s love of the music. By the time she was 12 years old, Olivia Jo already had a pair of bluegrass albums to her credit. Now after an unsatisfying attempt at the country scene in Nashville, she is back to her first love.

She has turned in an impressive cut on this gorgeous song, first recorded in 1995 by Linda Ronstadt on her Feels Like Home album, with harmony vocals from Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. It became a huge song for her, and few of her fans ever knew it was written by a bluegrass artist, and son of the great Red Allen.

High Sierras has also become something of a touchstone for female vocalists, with only the best willing to take a stab at this classic. Olive Jo, of course, passes with flying colors.

It tells a forlorn story of a love that wasn’t to be, told by someone who had the highest hopes, only to see them dashed.

Olivia Jo says that she feels honored to have had such stellar artists with her on this one.

“It’s a dream come true for me to have Rhonda singing harmony with me on this new single! I have enjoyed her music since I was a little girl. Of course I greatly admire her talent, and as a young woman navigating the music business, she inspires me to go the extra to achieve my goals and dreams.

My producer and I took a few creative liberties to put a new spin on this already incredible song to make it my own, and I think we accomplished that. Everyone involved did a superb job and I’m very pleased with the way everything turned out in the end.”

Assisting in the studio were Anthony Howell on guitar, Tim Crouch on fiddles, mandolin, and bass, with Randy Kohrs on reso-guitar. The haunting harmony vocals were provided by Josh Shilling as well as Rhonda Vincent.

Have a listen…

High Sierras by Olivia Jo is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.