Mockingbird Time

Mockingbird Time

by The JayhawksThe Jayhawks


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It was clear from their first recordings that the combination of Mark Olson and Gary Louris was a key part of the Jayhawks' magic, but it wasn't until Olson left the group after the release of 1995's Tomorrow the Green Grass that it became clear just how vital their collaboration as songwriters and vocalists was to the band's best work. While Louris kept the Jayhawks together and made some fine records, and Olson cut some compelling solo albums as well as recording with Victoria Williams in the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers, it was hard not to realize that neither artist was as strong on their own as they were together. Olson and Louris recorded an acoustic album together in 2008, Ready for the Flood, that sounded stiff and tentative, but a couple years of writing and road work has made all the difference, and their reunion with fellow Jayhawks Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O'Reagan, Mockingbird Time, is easily the group's strongest and most cleanly focused album since their 1992 masterpiece Hollywood Town Hall. In fact, Mockingbird Time, more than Tomorrow the Green Grass, sounds like the long awaited follow-up to that great album; it never suggests the Jayhawks are trying to slavishly copy their early-'90s sound, but the homey, literate interplay between Olson and Louris, the way Grotberg's keyboards complement the fuzzy eloquence of Louris' electric guitar, and the understated strength of Perlman's bass and O'Reagan's drumming recalls the elemental emotional power and unobtrusive craft of Hollywood Town Hall. Simply having Olson and Louris together isn't the only factor that makes this album so good, but their harmonies are as beautiful and unusual as ever, and the way their lyrical voices mesh confirms they bring out the best in one another. If the Jayhawks' post-Olson work may have been more stylistically ambitious, Mockingbird Time cuts to the core of what they do best: evocative songs, striking vocals, and a handful of musicians who perform with precision and plenty of heart. Mockingbird Time is a simple but richly rewarding example of what the Jayhawks do better than anyone, and serves as a potent reminder that they're one of the finest American bands of their time.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/20/2011
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661911321
catalogNumber: 619113
Rank: 97898

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jayhawks   Primary Artist
Gary Louris   Group Member
Tim O'Reagan   Group Member
Mark Olson   Group Member
Marc Perlman   Group Member
Michael Sutton   Violin
Karen Grotberg   Group Member
Mike Russell   Violin
Ingunn Ringvold   Harmonium
Jacqueline Ultan   Cello
Milana Reiche   Violin
Jonathan Magness   Violin

Technical Credits

Tom Scott   Arranger
Neal Casal   Additional Music
Ken Friesen   Engineer
Gary Louris   Composer,Producer
Kevin Morris   Management
Mark Olson   Composer
Winston Watson   Additional Music
Craig Schumacher   Additional Music
Will Botwin   Management
Perry Greenfield   Management
Larissa Collins   Art Direction
Frank Riley   Booking
Jared Miller   Engineer
Andreas Barth   Engineer
Josh Grange   Additional Music
Tom Taaffe   Booking

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