Mark Olson (born September 18, 1961 in Minneapolis) is an American musician. He is one of the founding members of acclaimed alternative country bands The Jayhawks and The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers and a respected singer/songwriter in his own right.
Olson formed The Jayhawks in 1985 with singer/guitarist Gary Louris and was originally the principal singer/songwriter in the group. Along with Marc Perlman (bass) and Thad Spencer (drums), they released their eponymous debut album in 1986 through independent label Bunkhouse Records. The band were signed by Minneapolis label Twin Tone in 1987 and released Blue Earth, which saw Louris sharing more songwriting and singing duties with Olson. It was this album that led the band to be signed by major label Def American - A&R representative and producer George Drakoulias is said to have heard Blue Earth playing in the background while on a phone call to Twin Tone in 1991 and signed the band later that year.