It's no easy feat pulling off three back-to-back nights at First Avenue, but the Jayhawks made it look effortless this past summer when they powered through one of the most memorable local music events of the year.
Ever since founders and lead singers Gary Louris and Mark Olson rejoined forces back in 2008, the Jayhawks have taken on a new life in the form of reunion shows, anthologies, and reissues; with news of more dates and a new album on the horizon, it looks like they won't be slowing down anytime soon.
[jump] The band just announced plans to take a quick tour this January, including two-night-stands in New York City and Chicago, plus stops in Toronto, Philadelphia, and -- yes! -- a return to First Avenue on January 29.
The tour will coincide with reissues of the band's two most popular albums, 1992's Hollywood Town Hall and 1995's Tomorrow the Green Grass (their last record with Olson before he left the group), and the band (rounded out by Green Grass players Karen Grotberg, Marc Perlman, and Tim O'Reagan) is contemplating playing both albums straight through at their NYC shows.
No word yet on what they will play at their Minneapolis show, but any setlist heavy on those two releases will be sure to please local fans.
Shortly after news of their new tour and reissues broke yesterday afternoon, Rolling Stone dropped another bomb: Olson and Louris have been penning songs together again, and the group has been hard at work at Terrarium studios in Minneapolis laying down tracks for a new Jayhawks album.
Louris says the decision to record new material came after the success of their shows in Minneapolis and Spain. "The chemistry was still there so Olson and I decided to write some new songs," Louris told Rolling Stone. "We went up to his sister's cabin up north and later I went out to the desert in Joshua Tree to write some more songs."
The tracks are reminiscent of their mid-1990s work. "This is a record for a true Jayhawks fan who loves Tomorrow The Green Grass," says Louris. "It's not a mirror image, but it has a lot of the same elements." One track is called "Mockingbird Time," and another is currently titled "Tiny Arrows." "That one is a bit of an odyssey, soundscape-y kind of song that starts off very desert-y," says Louris. "Then it evolves into many different parts that flow together naturally."
They plan on finishing it by the end of the month and mixing it before the end of the year; the pair hope to have it on shelves by the spring or early summer.
Tickets for the January 29 show are $29.75, check out First Ave's site for more info.
2011 TOUR DATES:
01/18 Toronto, ONT The Phoenix
01/20-21 New York, NY Webster Hall
01/22 Philadelphia, PA TLA
01/27-28 Chicago, IL The Vic
01/29 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue