This queen of blue-eyed rock n’ soul, who grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples, teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She’s the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, whose latest CD, 2010’s The Deep End, was honored on five national Top Ten lists and features special guests/duet partners Ian Hunter, Dion DiMucci, and Marshall Crenshaw, plus Levon Helm, GE Smith, Andy York, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Catherine Russell, Big Al Anderson, and others.
Ohlman’s legendary voice and stage presence (she’s known as “The Beehive Queen”) have most reently been featured at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert in Cleveland (filmed by HBO) and the Carnegie Hall tribute to the Rolling Stones, as well as on SNL’s 25th Anniversary telecast; Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary bash at The Garden (with George Harrison, Chrissie Hynde, and others); the Obama Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.; The Lincoln Center “American Songbook” series with Sting, Lou Reed and Van Dyke Parks; and the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin (where she fronted both Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band).
She appears on Grammy nominees A Tribute To Howlin’ Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite’s One Night In America (with Marty Stuart); sings the theme song for NBC’s 30 Rock; worked on a musical with the late Cy Coleman (who compared her sense of timing to Peggy Lee’s); duets live whenever possible with blues giant Hubert Sumlin (as she had with the late Eddie Kirkland) as well as with friends like the aforementioned Miss Spector, Mac Rebennack (a private evening of duets in 2011 followed his inducution into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame), Americana stalwart Paul Thorn, Muscle Shoals mainstays The Decoys (Bonnie Bramlett took the stage with her at the 2011 WC Handy Festival), and New Orleans legends The Subdudes (she joins The ‘Dudes, BB King, Irma Thomas, Richard Thompson and others on Get You A Healin’ to benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and guested during both the 2010 and 2011 Jazz & Heritage Fest’s “Down On The Bayou II and III” with Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann, again to benefit The Clinic); collaborated on critically-acclaimed tracks with Marshall Crenshaw (Labour Of Love: The Music of Nick Lowe), Big Al Anderson (Pawn Shop Guitars), and Ian Hunter (Shrunken Heads – she will also appear on Hunter’s upcoming 2012 release); edited legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham’s autobiography 2Stoned (she will appear also on Oldham’s historic upcoming ALO Orchestra CD release) and is a cover-story-writing contributor to Elmore Magazine; and worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder & others on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards–all the while continuing to torch clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard in support of her recordings (Strip, The Hard Way, Radio Queen, Wicked Time, 2008 career retrospective Re-Hive, and the aforementioned The Deep End, plus 2011 concert DVD Live Hive with her band Rebel Montez (Michael Colbath-bass; Cliff Goodwin-guitar; Larry Donahue-drums). “I’ve come here tonight to set your souls on fire,” she’ll tell an audience. And she will.