View Full Version : Reveiw in London Independent

04-14-2003, 10:57 AM
Please see below for the London Independent review,

Album: The Jayhwaks
Rainy Day Music, American / Lost Highway
By Andy Gill

11 April 2003

Having built one of the cornerstones of the alt.country genre with their 1997 album, Sound of Lies, the Jayhawks made the huge mistake, on the follow-up, Smile, of abandoning their core business in favour of an ill-judged foray into Eighties-style AOR, as if what we really needed at that point was the return of REO Speedwagon and their ilk. Perhaps chastened by its lacklustre reception, they've made the inevitable volte-face with Rainy Day Music, whose reference points and associations are virtually all from the early-Seventies golden era of country-rock, with the band's burnished harmonies and jangly guitars summoning memories of the Eagles, Hollies, Byrds, and Crosby Stills & Nash in song after song.

Cementing the links, the former Eagle, Bernie Leadon, even appears on the album, plunking away at his banjo on "Tailspin", while Steve Stills's son Chris is but one of a younger generation of West Coast country-rockers singing back-up here and there. It's a much more appealing album than Smile, with chief songwriter Gary Louris's abiding preference for sad songs tempered by his gift for eminently hummable melodies: the result is that even an apparent downer such as "Tailspin" about an unjustly condemned woman has an oddly euphoric plangency somewhat at odds with its subject matter. As before, much of the album is taken up with Louris's reflections on romantic failure, break-ups, long-distance love, recollections of old flames, and shame at inappropriate desires, with the best song, "Stumbling through the Dark", tiptoeing skilfully (and catchily) around the theme of emotional uncertainty. A welcome return to form.

04-16-2003, 04:10 PM
thanks for posting that. i'm always up for hearing what they are saying about the jayhawks in the UK. do the 'hawks have much of a following in ireland? i've been to ireland twice now, most recently this past november for a week with my girlfriend (went to the david gray show at the point in dublin - excellent show!!, and to see bela fleck at whelan's in dublin - also an excellent show!!) and always felt that they (jayhawks) might do well there.


04-17-2003, 04:34 AM
David Gray got his launchpad to fame over here. It's funny but there are a few DJ's over here like Donal Dineen and Dave Fanning who have championed good bands for years and some of them have gone on to be quite successful. I remember seeing David Gray play a few shitholes a couple of years back. Wouldn't happen now I suppose.

The Jayhawks have played here twice. I've been unlucky as I've been out of the country on both occasions. They are the kind of band that would go down very well over here if they took about three weeks and played a few venues accross the country. The Irish have always been suckers for rootsy music. Alot more so than the English. I remember when Steve Earle was living in Galway he used to do a lot of impromptu gigs about town and was one of the most recognisable faces walking down shop street. Steve has a pretty big following over here down to the strength of his material and his willingness to learn about our history and culture. I'm astonished at his versatility.

So there you have it the key to the Jayhawks conquering the world is to first conquer Ireland!! Ha Ha!!

04-17-2003, 08:58 AM
I agree wholeheartedly. To find their fame and fortune, they should go to Ireland.

I knew that David Gray became famous because of his success in Ireland. I have to admit, that I didn't really know much about him until White Ladder came out, but since I discovered him, I have gone on to aquire all of his albums. I think his music is brilliant - right up there with The Jayhawks for me.

My girlfriend though spent a semester studying in Dublin and she discovered him over there.

If The Jayhawks would decide to play an Irish Tour, I would be on the first plane over. My favorite band playing in my favorite country (other than the U.S. of course), how could I miss that? I plan to return to Ireland soon anyway, but if I could coordinate it with a Jayhawks show, that would be brilliant.