The Jayhawks are the harmonizing alt/country, rootsy, rock, with a touch of pop/folk band that emerged from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the mid 80’s. Considered by many to be one of the forefathers of the then bourgeoning alt/country scene.
Formed in 1985 and co-helmed by Gary Louris and Mark Olson, The Jayhawks released their self titled debut on the indie label Bunkhouse Records. In an attempt to snag a major label deal, the band recorded a set of demos, and then due to tragic and unforeseen circumstances, Gary temporarily left the band. Upon his return, the collection of demos was fashioned into their sophomore release Blue Earth.
In 1992 their musical aspirations came to fruition with the major label signing to American Records and the release of the major label debut Hollywood Town Hall. The album was well received and spawned the hit single “Waiting for the Sun”. 1995 was a tumultuous year for the band, with expensive production of their finely crafted release Tomorrow the Green Grass, low sales compared to label expectations, and the unforeseen exodus of Mark Olson.
With the departure of Olson, Louris composed most of the songs on the 1997 release Sound of Lies. The results were a menagerie of musical styles that polarized the original sound of the band. The band continued to expand their sound with the 2000 release Smile. It had a certain pop sensibility to it and the single “I’m Going to Make You Love Me” and was featured in a Ralph Lauren commercial and the T.V. show The O.C.
The band’s last hurrah was the 2003 release Rainy Day Music. The album seemed to be a homecoming to their musical roots with sparse, acoustic guitars, pedal and lap steel, and banjo.
The Jayhawks Discography:
- The Jayhawks
- Blue Earth
- Hollywood Town Hall
- Tomorrow the Green Grass
- Sound of Lies
- Rainy Day Music
- Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology
The Jayhawks Top 5 Songs
- What Led Me to this Town (Smile)
- Blue (Tomorrow the Green Grass)
- I’m Going to Make You Love me (Smile)
- Big Star (Sound of Lies)
- Waiting for the Sun (Hollywood Town Hall)
Over the years, there has been some reunion talk and speculation based on the occasional Jayhawks gig. Gary and Mark have occasionally toured together and billed the event “From The Jayhawks: An evening with Mark Olson and Gay Louris, Together Again”. They also recorded and released an album, 2009’s impressive Ready for the Flood.
2009 also saw the multi formatted release of Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology.
Check out The Jayhawks at www.thejayhawks.net
Great music awaits!