Brad Meador
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Jan 27

Mark Olson & Gary Louris: Ready for the Flood

image Mark Olson & Gary Louris, the original founders of the Jayhawks, released their first joint album in 13 years today.  I have been excited about Ready for the Flood since seeing these guys at last year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival – the highlight of the weekend.  I’ve been listening all morning and it just brings a smile to my face.

I’ve been a Jayhawks fan basically forever.  I can remember hearing Blue in a hotel lobby in Baltimore about 13 years ago and telling my co-worker that it was my favorite song EVER.  (A time in my life where I still felt the need to talk in absolutes…).  Mark left the Jayhawks around that time and Gary put out some great albums after, but I sorely missed the soaring harmonies and songwriting of the original duo.

Ready for the Flood is what you would expect from these guys – mostly acoustic music with poetic lyrics and beautiful two part harmonies.  The AllMusic guide says the songs are “faded and familiar.”  That just about sums it up.  Listening to these guys feels like going home and hanging out with old friends.

Here are some songs from Ready for the Flood to whet your appetite:

The Rose Society
Turn Your Pretty Name Around
Saturday Morning On Sunday Street

image If you want to explore The Jayhawks post-Olson, Rainy Day Music is a spectacular album.  Panned by critics for reasons that I can’t fathom and a precursor to the demise of the band, this is yet another record that I couldn’t put down for a long, long time.  Some tracks:

Stumbling Through The Dark
Tampa To Tulsa

Enjoy.  I’m off to see Neko tomorrow night.  Sweet.  She’s my favorite EVER.