Taking the massive helping hand from Mr Kerr last week, this link in the chain is forged of pure rock ‘n’roll gold. Gary Louris is a songwriter whose reputation should be far greater than it is (Jayhawks, Tedeschi Trucks, Dixie Chicks, Golden Smog etc.etc.) but how often have we said that about an artist operating in our particular sphere? To illustrate the point this is a track that was a bonus only on the European original release of ‘Sound of Lies‘. Later editions did not even feature it until the remastering a few years back. It is a beautiful, melancholy delight that gives and gives. Enjoy it loud or hushed.
Though the roots of Americana go back decades, it was the early 1990s when the sounds we love started to coalesce into a proto-genre. Generally viewed then as alt-country, two bands on the same circuit emerged and got picked up by major labels, and sparked the alt-country boom in the late 90s from which Americana emerged as the 21st Century force that we love. If Uncle Tupelo were more alt than country and carried the cool edge, the The Jayhawks were more country than alt, and gloriously had the harmonies. Continue reading “AmericanA-Z – The Jayhawks”
When Mark Olson left the Jayhawks it felt to me like one of the most beautiful songwriting partnerships since Lennon and McCartney was being torn apart like matchwood. Who knew then that the Jayhawks’ first album sans Olson would be one of the most beautiful records ever recorded. There were many songs that felt like classics but for me it was this one, with its wonderful lines like “Six green olives and a champagne basket/Paid the bill with your boyfriend’s plastic” that stood out the most. 22 years on, every time I hear it now the hairs on the back of my neck go up. Long live the Jayhawks.
This is quite exciting news late in the day (literally). The Jayhawks have announced the release of a new album, ‘Back Roads and Abandoned Motels’, which arrives in the UK on July 13th (which is a Friday, lucky for some). The album features 11 tracks written by Gary Louris, most of them in collaboration with a whole array of stars including Dixie Chicks, Jakob Dylan, Emerson Hart (of Tonic), Ari Hest, Scott Thomas and Carrie Rodriguez. Continue reading “The Jayhawks announce new album, due July – Listen”
Legacy Recordings have announced the release of ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ – a collaborative album consisting of songs created from Johnny Cash’s unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters set to music by an array of artists on Friday 6th April. The album features new performances by Chris Cornell, Ruston Kelly & Kacey Musgraves, Rosanne Cash, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, John Mellencamp, Carlene Carter, Elvis Costello and The Jayhawks. Continue reading “New Cash tribute album features Jayhawks, Mellencamp and others”
These three EP’s are the first three instalments of a planned quartet of releases, and there’s nothing startlingly different about each record. They are all super competent Americana, aiming foursquare for the middle ground, populated by the likes of later period Avett Brothers, five tracks each, short and sweet punches, drawing no blood but spraying sugary harmonies with each jab landing. Continue reading “Moonsville Collective EPs “I” “2” “3” (Moonsville Records 2017)”
This is one we’re really looking forward to – the new album by Wesley Stace “featuring the Jayhawks” is out 3 weeks today on the Yep Roc label if we’re all still here, and they’ve released another new track online which you can hear below – “Better Tell No One Your Dreams” has echoes of some of the most blisteringly optimistic new line-up Jayhawks sound (think “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”) – it’s a huge big-hearted song and well worth a listen. You can also see photos of the recording session here at the Jayhawks official Tumblr page. Continue reading “Wesley Stace and the Jayhawks release another preview track of album – Listen”