The Jayhawks’ Long, Sweet Song

| 5/5/2011 11:52:54 AM

The Jayhawks 

When the Jayhawks came along in the late 1980s, playing twangy rock with a sweetly folky side, they weren’t exactly in step with styles: As singer-guitarist Gary Louris points out, “We were swimming upriver, playing country music in the grunge era.”

But time has treated the Jayhawks well, and the albums from their rich early heyday—particularly Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass, which have just been reissued by Sony Legacy—now have the ring of classics.

When those albums came out, “It was a bit of a detriment not being attached to any particular trend or sound,” Louris says, “but now I guess slow and steady wins the race. We age well because we were not of a particular time or place. That’s why our music still sounds good.”

Louris, who is unabashedly proud of the Jayhawks’ work, praises the albums’ production quality, which he describes as “solid and thick and vibrant,” and the band members’ performances, which they honed meticulously.

“They’re really tight records,” he says. “Really tight.”

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