Music From the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology
When Minnesota band The Jayhawks first made its way into the public consciousness in 1992, it was difficult to know what to make of them. They didn’t fit in with either the country or rock scene of the day and the parameters of the nascent Americana genre had yet to be established. But open-minded listeners knew something beautiful when they heard it, and The Jayhawks’ bittersweet harmonies, ragged-but-right guitars and warmly enveloping melodies brought them a devoted audience anyway.
The group endured a series of lineup changes on its way to a 2005 breakup (particularly the defection of co-frontman Mark Olson in 1995), but this first-ever career overview demonstrates how consistently masterful the music remained. Spring for the deluxe edition, which sports a second CD of outtakes and rarities, and you’ll discover that even their castoffs could be breathtaking. A reunion is tentatively underway, so hopefully The Jayhawks’ story hasn’t quite ended yet—but if it has, Music From the North Country is a fitting testament.