Hello and thank you for visiting my site.
My name is Holger Olesen I have been playing resonator guitar and singing in the bands Continental Drive and Porcupine Creek when I can. I also have performed in a duo called Hooker and Holger and played with my family in the Sloughgrass band for the past many years.
I am hoping to make music a big part of my life.
I am currently attending East Tennessee State University (ETSU) where I am pursuing dual degrees in Bluegrass, Country and Old-time music and Manufacturing Engineering Technology. At ETSU I play with several bands as part of the Bluegrass program and sing with a vocal group. The experience in the ETSU program is great and it has made me grow a lot as a performer and in my musicianship.
I have been playing music ever since I can remember--singing with my family band from the time I was four years old, taking piano lessons throughout elementary and junior high, playing saxophone in the Indus school bands and playing the resonator guitar from when I was very young. I began playing the resonator guitar because my older cousin, Gary Hultman, was already playing it and my dad thought it was a good instrument for me to start on. For several years I took theory, vocal and resonator guitar lessons from Gary Hooker, a guitar teacher and musician now based in Park Rapids, MN. I have recorded three CD’s with Sloughgrass and have been a part of other CD projects. Sloughgrass also did a PBS TV special on Prairie Public TV in 2012. I have played with Sloughgrass all over Minnesota and into North Dakota at festivals, fairs and all kinds of events.
In 2012, I made a “kids” band with my sister, Sofia Olesen, and my two cousins, Maria Lewis and Gary Hultman, and we recorded a demo CD.
In 2013 I joined the band Porcupine Creek, based out of Duluth and Wyoming, MN.
In 2018 I made the band Continental Drive with other students in the ETSU Bluegrass program to tour during the summer.
My first big influence on the resonator guitar was Rob Ickes. I took a weekend-long workshop with Rob when I was 10 years old and he was at the Masters Weekend in Lutsen, MN. Sally Van Meter was also a big influence on me. She taught me the first song that I learned at Resosummit the first year I went in 2010 and I still enjoy playing the “Down Home Waltz”. I took lessons online from Mike Witcher, an outstanding teacher and musician. But my biggest influence has always been my cousin Gary Hultman who played with the Boxcars, the Highland Travelers and now with Blue Highway.
I like all kinds of bluegrass and new-grass music plus I like to listen to AC/DC, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Morrison and lots of other types of music.
Please check out the songs in the player below if you would like.