The Jayhawks announce new album, due July – Listen

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. 

Recorded in two sessions last year, the current Jayhawks line-up – Louris (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars), Marc Perlman (bass), Tim O’Reagan (vocals, drums, percussion), Karen Grotberg (vocals, piano, keyboards), John Jackson (mandolin, violin, acoustic guitar) is being given a bit of a new lease of life in terms of responsibilities: Karen and Tim each sing lead on two songs on the album. Tim performs “Gonna Be a Darkness” and “Long Time Ago” while Karen takes lead vocals (for the first time on a Jayhawks album) on the opener, “Come Cryin’ to Me (featuring a horn section arranged by David Ralicke) and on “El Dorado.”

The album’s setlist of songs co-written by Louris includes “Come Cryin’ to Me” (originally released on Natalie Maines’ Mother in 2013); “Everybody Knows” and “Bitter End” (released on Dixie Chicks’Taking The Long Way in 2006); “Gonna Be a Darkness” (written and performed by Louris and Jakob Dylan for True Blood: Music From The HBO Original Series – Volume 3 in 2011); “Need You Tonight” (originally released on Scott Thomas’ Matson Tweed in 2015); “El Dorado” (originally released on Carrie Rodriguez’ She Ain’t Me in 2008); “Bird Never Flies” (originally released on Ari Hest’s The Break-In in 2007); “Backwards Women” (written with Wild Feathers but never recorded) and “Long Time Ago” (written with Emerson Hart of Tonic but never recorded). The record also debuts two of Gary’s latest songs, “Carry You To Safety” and “Leaving Detroit.”  Review coming up on AUK soon. In the meantime here’s the cover-art and track listing, and you can listen to their revisitation of “Everybody Knows” too.


1. Come Cryin’ To Me (Gary Louris, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, Emily Robison)
2. Everybody Knows (Gary Louris, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire)
3. Gonna Be A Darkness (Jakob Dylan, Gary Louris)
4. Bitter End (Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, Gary Louris, Martie Maguire)
5. Backwards Women (Gary Louris, Joel King, Taylor Burns, Ricky Young)
6. Long Time Ago (Emerson Hart, Gary Louris)
7. Need You Tonight (Scott Thomas, Gary Louris, Kristen Hall)
8. El Dorado (Carrie Rodriguez, Gary Louris, Malcolm Burn, Sandra Jennifer (Sandrine) Daniels)
9. Bird Never Flies (Ari Hest, Gary Louris)
10. Carry You To Safety (Gary Louris)
11. Leaving Detroit (Gary Louris)

About Mark Whitfield 2026 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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