The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music

Seventh album from immaculate country-rockers with guest appearances by Jakob Dylan, Bernie Leadon and Matthew Sweet

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On their last album, Smile, The Jayhawks perfected a bright, sparkling, radio-friendly pop-rock confection laden with winning hooks and cracking tunes. Rainy Day Music, their first for Lost Highway, is not so much alt.country as classic late-’60s Byrds/Burritos-style country rock. Helmed by Ethan Johns (who produces Ryan Adams), it’s all acoustic guitars, rich jangling melodies and heavenly harmonies. On “Stumbling Through The Dark”, “Tailspin”, and “Will I See You In Heaven?”, Gary Louris has come up with some of his most memorable compositions to emerge as a kind of country cousin of Neil Finn, while “Save It For A Rainy Day” and “Madman” could have easily made it on to The Eagles’ Desperado (a notion only enhanced by the presence of Bernie Leadon guesting on the album).

You wondered how they could top Smile. With Rainy Day Music, The Jayhawks have gone and done it.

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