The Jayhawks

Essential Albums

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About The Jayhawks

The Jayhawks became darlings of the loosely defined alt-country movement thanks to their lush roots-rock sound, thoughtful songwriting, and moving harmonies. An early version of the band formed in Minneapolis in 1984 with Mark Olson at the helm, adding fellow singer/guitarist Gary Louris the following year. They released their self-titled debut in 1986, but after a car wreck sidelined Louris in 1988, the band put together a scrappy record of previously recorded demos—1989’s stripped-down Blue Earth—which led to an American Recordings deal. The Jayhawks fleshed out their sound on their major-label debut, 1992’s Hollywood Town Hall, with tunes like the Neil Young-indebted “Waiting For the Sun.” In 1995, Tomorrow the Green Grass and songs like the symphonic “Blue” cemented their legacy, but Olson left soon after. The band put out another handful of records before an extended hiatus in the 2000s; Louris and Olson reunited for 2011’s Mockingbird Time before parting ways again. In 2020, Louris and the Jayhawks put out Xoxo, the first album with lyrics written and sung by every member.

Minneapolis, MN, United States

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