The Jayhawks broke through during the heydays of the 1980's music scene in Minneapolis. There was a rich pool of talent during that era—The Replacements, Soul Asylum, Husker Du, and of course Prince. As they helped create the Alt-country sound, they were also penning great songs at an alarming rate. Their early albums were released on Twin/Tone Records in 1985 and 1989. A move to Def America Records in the 90's proved fruitful. Hollywood Town Hall (1992) and Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995) are probably their best known efforts. This transition also brought new members Karen Grotberg (keys) and Tim O'Reagan (drums) into the mix. Founding member, Mark Olson would eventually leave the group. With his departure, original member and co-writer, Gary Louris took over the songwriting duties, evoking a edgier, modern tone. Kraig Johnson joined the band at this time, creating a five piece ensemble. In 1997, Sound of Lies was released as they steered into new directions that would be further explored on Smile (2000).
The Jayhawks will be embarking on a west coast tour starting tomorrow in Seattle. The lineup will look a lot like it did in 1997, including original bassist Marc Perlman. They make a Bay area appearance at The Fillmore on January 8th. It is rumored that Louris, Perlman, O'Reagan, Grotberg and Johnson will be playing material from Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music—each record will be reissued this year. Maybe you'll catch their show, in the mean time, enjoy the track below.
The Jayhawks | "The Man Who Loved Life" | Live on the Current 89.3