As a leading member of alt-country pioneers the Jayhawks, Gary Louris has become synonymous with the genre’s virtues and vices. His calm demeanor, his eloquent, understated observations, his use of Americana wanderlust symbolism (“Omaha Nights,” “Meandering,” "D.C. Blues”) all come backed with spare acoustic guitar, smooth, full-bodied organ, strokes of pedal steel and laid-back ‘70s-styled harmonies that owe as much to the Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills and Nash as they do to actual country music. Louris has always been more pop craftsman than the Midwestern cowboy his image suggests. Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson oversees the production duties for Louris’ solo debut and his job mostly keeps the guests freely circulating (the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs and Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis are among the backing vocalists). A beautiful vocal delay haunts “Black Grass.” The sweet country gait of “She Only Calls Me On Sundays” recalls the aching loneliness of a Jimmy Webb tune. The tight ensemble choir of “We’ll Get By” evokes ‘70s AM country-soft-rock. Replace the 2008 copyright date and affix 1974 and few would argue the difference.