"The Devil Is in Her Eyes"
...from Jayhawks' Paging Mr. Proust
Yes, they are getting on in years, but, somehow they don’t sound like it. Indeed, the Jayhawks — now touring in support of their latest release, Paging Mr. Proust — could just as well be hosting a reunion at the Fountain of Youth. It’s been more than 30 years since the Jayhawks first emerged in Minneapolis. But this record could also be the means by which a band poised for retirement might appeal to a whole new generation of listeners. Paging Mr. Proust is a game-changer in the Jayhawk’s timeline. Here’s why: Gary Louris, who was part of what many consider to be the band’s best lineup, is re-energized and back on the road with his old pals. It’s the same lineup (not counting guest appearances) that recorded Sound of Lies in 1997, a monster of a record and possibly their best.
The backstory: this is one of those eternal start-stop bands, the Jayhawks, with plenty of infighting and break-ups (bad enough at times such that some predicted zero in the way of a band future), side projects, and many reunions. With Louris back on vocals and guitar, the band is Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O’Reagan; together, they’ve proven that disharmony can make for some great music. “I don’t want to fight,” Louris sings in “Leaving the Monsters Behind.” “Giving it up/ screaming at midnight.”
- Sunday, July 24, 2016, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
With only nine studio albums made and released in all that time, early Jayhawks sounded mainline Americana: Eagles-ish country music, executed within a Gram Parsons alt-country-rock agenda. The new album, by contrast, swings out and away from those roots and enlarges instead on the kind of folk-rock that Great Britain fed to us back in the day. It is both timeless and ageless, the newer Jayhawks music, kind of like the individual bandmembers themselves, and wouldn’t we all like to be able to lay claim to that distinction?
Fernando Viciconte also performs.