Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Music Year #7

This year has been a big year for Jayhawks fans and not just for the release of a retrospective and rarities disc this summer. We were also treated to new material from Gary Louris and Mark Olson, the driving forces of the early period of The Jayhawks. Olson left the band in 1995 but over the past couple years the two have performed together and recorded Ready For the Flood. It's not a Jayhawks record but there are still many pleasures to be had.

Much of the album is the two men together - their voices (Louris up high and Olson on the bottom) and their acoustic guitars. They blend so well together that you can just get wrapped up in the sound. That's helped, of course, by a keen sense of melody and the construction of the songs. I don't think any of the songs will strike a person as one of the best they've ever heard but they are all candidates to get stuck in your head. There are subtleties to the music as well and other instruments (notably organ, harmonica, and electric guitar) contribute to the whole. It's a cohesive album in the best sense and one of my favorites of the year. I hope they keep making music together.

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