Hello, Toads. Today I have for you a treat, what I think of as a delectable candy-store confection. The Jayhawks write and perform perfect roots-pop songs featuring infectious melodies, complex harmonies, and heady lyrics, reminiscent of Gram Parsons and the Everly Brothers. A mix-CD of Jayhawks songs always travels with me in heavy rotation in my car, where I love to let the music flow over and wrap around me.
Formed by Mark Olson, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Norm Rogers in 1985,
a time when Husker Du, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Prince also
came out of the Minneapolis music scene, The Jayhawks are not quite country music, not quite rock. Referred to as "Hank
Williams on speed," The Jayhawks were named after "Levon and the Hawks,"
Bob Dylan's backing band in the 1960's before they became The Band. In
various incarnations over the years, The Jayhawks have represented a
fusion of rock, country, and folk influences into a sound that is timeless,
modern, and quintessentially American. (From The Jayhawks' bio page on their website, click for more detail.)
Our song for today is the "Blue," from the 1995 record Tomorrow the Green Grass.
"Blue" is a beautiful song with fascinating lyrics that somehow catch
me by surprise no matter how many times I listen. Here are the lyrics, and you can listen to the studio version of "Blue" here. Enjoy the song (and
young Jon Stewart, bonus!), explore the music of The Jayhawks if you're so moved, and listen to your muse. I look forward to reading!