Minneapolis alt-country kingpins The Jayhawks have had many reasons to celebrate lately.
Lost Highway just reissued their eponymous debut disc, followed by American/Legacy’s reissue of two expanded-edition classics, 1992’s “Hollywood Town Hall” and 1995’s “Tomorrow The Green Grass.”
All contained a treasure trove of bonus tracks, complementing their 2009 greatest-hits collection “Music From The North Country.” And this January, Mark Olson, Gary Louris and company performed a handful of original-lineup shows for the first time in over 15 years.
There was just one logistical problem.
With Olson now residing in Norway and Louris still back in Minneapolis, how would the pair ever spark a songwriting partnership again? Enough, at least, for a full-length album? But the now-rejuvenated Jayhawks figured out a way, composing as a band in Louris’s apartment, in a cabin in northern Minnesota, and in Olson’s old digs in Joshua Tree.
Louris himself volunteered to produce, and the results, the 12 tracks that comprise “Mockingbird Time,” will hit the streets Sept. 20 on Rounder. And they’re great. From the opening subtly orchestrated march “Hide Your Colors” through the Peter-and-Gordon-ish “Closer To Your Side” to the blustery Byrds jangle of “She Walk In So Many Ways,” those patented Olson/Louris harmonies chime like a church bell.
They’ll be spending the summer touring Europe before returning to the states for a fall tour.
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