James A. Olson (“Jim”) has been handcrafting acoustic flattop guitars since 1977. His instruments began getting national attention in the mid 1980s, after Phil Keaggy commissioned the first cedar-topped Olson SJ guitar and began playing Olson guitars almost exclusively on his acoustic albums and in concert. In 1989, James Taylor purchased three of Jim’s guitars; through Taylor’s visibility, Olson guitars became known and prized by a wide variety of players around the world. Today an impressive number of well-known players in styles spanning fingerstyle to bluegrass to country to pop are proud Olson owners, including Leo Kottke, David Wilcox, James Taylor, Graham Nash, Sting, and many others. But most of the 40+ or so guitars Jim is able to build each year go to players of less renown (like those of us who contributed to this site, and perhaps like you), although of perhaps equally discriminating taste!
Circle Pines, Minnesota
Artists who play these instruments:
James Taylor, Phil Keaggy, Lou Reed, Sting, Kathy Mattea, Clint Black, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Patty Larkin, Leo Kottke