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  • Chris Olson

My acoustic singer influences in the UK and worldwide

It may shock you to know that I am not that original!...Don't worry...I'll wait whilst your draw climbs back from the floor.

No, it's totally true for most acoustic singers that they are the result of a cocktail of influence and inspiration from artists in the past and present. Some don't like to admit it, but my musical heroes mean so much to me that I am totally upfront about who they are.

This article is by no means a complete list, but these are the ones which spring to mind as being particularly important in my development as a musician, songwriter, and storyteller.

Acoustic Singer in the UK

Blink 182

A seemingly odd choice for an acoustic singer in the UK to pick, however it seems impossible to think I would have become a guitarist had I not discovered and immersed myself in the recordings of this punk-rock trio.

The first album I ever purchased was "Enema of the State" - still a wonderful play on words - and I would say I listen to songs from that record on a monthly basis still.

Blink got me into power chords, octaves, riffs, many elements which are more useful to an electric guitar player, but also they gave me an absolute passion for playing with attitude and writing catchy harmonies.

Sister Hazel

Not so well-known in the UK, I discovered this band through the film Bedazzled, where they provide the outro track "Change Your Mind" - still a favourite of mine. This 5-piece country rock band were massively influential on me in all aspects of my music. Their songs are beautifully composed, include wonderful chord structures, and capture some immense emotions which I try to emulate in my own songs.


Say Oasis and think "Wonderwall", but anyone who is a fan of this Manchester band knows that their back catalogue will stand the test of time as one of the greatest in rock n' roll history.

Noel Gallagher is such a prolific songwriter and his combination of talent and spunk (whilst impossible to copy) always makes me smile. "Supersonic" is one of the first songs I played live, with my band The Codes.

Some of their acoustic songs like Talk Tonight and Cast No Shadow are musical perfection.

Rage Against the Machine

Again, another unusual choice for an acoustic singer, but RAGE made (and are still making) a huge impact on me personally. Tom Morello's guitar skills are, arguably, the best anyone has ever heard, and his integration with the raw energy of RAGE's music is sublime.

Whilst my music has certainly deviated from the harder edge of RAGE, I like to remind myself that music can do a lot more than fill the air. There should be a purpose to a song, an identity, some reason for it coming into the word.

Bruce Springsteen

The Boss. Need I say more?

Well I will anyway, because whilst I came to the music of Springsteen quite late, he is such an awesome hero of mine. I saw him live at Wembley a few years back (my lovely wife bought me tickets, and sat through the concern) and was blown away by his 3-hour set with no support acts - AT HIS AGE! The man is a bloody machine and his songs are some of the most important, especially in American culture.

Watch below my Atlantic City acoustic cover...

Well, that will do for now as I have probably lost half of you by the RAGE section alone. I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my musical influences as an acoustic singer in the UK, and if you want to find out more, use the social media icons to drop me a message. I reply to everyone I can unless they are super mean...and even then I may send a sarcastic GIF your way.

Peace, love, and bum slaps.


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