The Jayhawks “Tomorrow the Green Grass”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#312 in the Series) is The Jayhawks, Tomorrow the Green Grass.

A lot of great music has come out of Minneapolis, but I think of the Replacements, Husker Du, or Prince as acts that are identified with the Twin City area. The Jayhawks have a much different feel, and their alt- country-rock sound is just the kind of music that made an impact in the 90’s. Tomorrow the Green Grass was their 4th album, and the final release with Mark Olson. The Jayhawks continued on with a more pop feel for three more albums, fronted by founding member Gary Louris.

When the band formed in 1985, they were opening for Alex Chilton in a Minneapolis club. In attendance was a stockbroker, Charlie Pine. He so loved their sound and lyrical impact that he became their manager, and formed a record label, Bunkhouse Records, in order to record their first album. He tirelessly shopped them around until they eventually were signed by Def Tone Records. The Village Voice dubbed them “the only country-rock band that matters.”

TTGG was released in 1995. “Blue” was the only real hit from this record, and only hit the charts in Canada, which goes to show how commercial success is not a terribly good barometer of musical accomplishment! Personally it’s one of my favorite songs ever, I never tire of it. I saw these guys the year of this release in Chicago, and their live shows were no disappointment. “Miss Williams Guitar” was written for Olsons’ then-girlfriend, Victoria Williams, and he left the band after this record to form a band with her, The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers (that’s quite a moniker!).

This album was rereleased in January of this year, along with Hollywood Town Hall. If you haven’t given it a listen lately, do so, it feels as fresh as it did 16 years ago!

— Kristin Morrisson

Track Listing

  1. “Blue” – 3:09
  2. “I’d Run Away” – 3:34
  3. “Miss Williams’ Guitar” – 3:06
  4. “Two Hearts” – 3:22
  5. “Real Light” – 3:25
  6. “Over My Shoulder” – 3:41
  7. “Bad Time” – 3:27 (Mark Farner)
  8. “See Him on the Street” – 3:09
  9. “Nothing Left to Borrow” – 3:24
  10. “Ann Jane” – 4:00
  11. “Pray for Me” – 3:39
  12. “Red’s Song” – 3:58 (Mark Olson/Gary Louris/Marc Perlman)
  13. “Ten Little Kids” – 4:33 (Olson/Louris/Perlman)

Personnel

  • Mark Olson – vocals, guitar
  • Gary Louris – vocals, guitar
  • Marc Perlman – bass
  • Karen Grotberg – piano, organ, Wurlitzer, background vocals

Additional musicians

  • Don Heffington – drums
  • Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar
  • Lili Haydn – violin, viola (on “I’d Run Away”)
  • Tammy Rodgers – violin (on “Over My Shoulder”)
  • Benmont Tench – organ
  • George Drakoulias – baritone guitar solo on “Two Hearts”
  • Sharleen Spiteri – background vocals (on “Bad Time”)
  • Victoria Williams – background vocals (on “Ten Little Kids” and “Pray For Me”)

Links

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Posted by Kristin Morrisson


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