89.3 The Current presents THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minneapolis music scene halfway through the 1980s – a memorable decade that saw the likes of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Husker Du and Prince put Minnesota on the musical map in a big way. Forging a rootsy sound that wasn’t quite rock or country – “Hank Williams on speed” somebody once memorably called it – The Jayhawks quickly turned into one of the most important bands of the post-punk era. Over the course of two decades, several albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while wining the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process.
Formed by Mark Olson, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Norm Rogers in early 1985, The Jayhawks original members all came from a variety of Minneapolis bands toiling away in the hyperactive local club scene at the time. Prolific and highly motivated, the band amassed a staggering number of original songs in a very short time, culminating with a self-released eponymous debut album in 1986. The Jayhawks' discography released Blue Earth (1989), HollywoodTown Hall (1992), Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995), Sound of Lies (1997), Smile (2000), and Rainy Day Music (2003) - the last three without Olson - before quietly going on hiatus in 2004.
The ensuing years found Louris, Perlman and Tim O’Reagan embarking on a variety of projects; all three have released solo albums in recent years. Louris also kept busy with numerous songwriting collaborations, production work, soundtracks and even the revival of longtime side-project, Golden Smog, a proverbial “supergroup” featuring members of Soul Asylum and Big Star, as well as Jayhawkers Perlman and Johnson. Significantly, after years of estrangement, Olson and Louris finally reunited for a couple of well-received tours, followed by Ready For the Flood in 2009, their first full length studio project together in 15 years. Long time fans were still surprised – and overjoyed – with the news in 2008 that the Tomorrow the Green Grass-era lineup of the band with Mark Olson would be reuniting for some summer festival shows in Europe. The good news kept on coming in 2009 with more reunion shows and the release of the band’s first retrospective, The Jayhawks Anthology, a multi-disc collection personally supervised by Louris that featured key tracks from all phases of the band's career.
Rogue Valley is a band born of grandiose ambition: in a single year, they have written, recorded, and successfully released four full length albums, each one sonically steeped in the season of its creation. Together, the four albums tell a sweeping story of love, loss, regret and hope that is inseparable from the geography of classic American wanderlust. The 46 songs act as chapters, standing strongly on their own, yet creating an undeniably rich experience when taken as a whole.