Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
In the mid-'80s, the last thing the world expected from the frosty hometown of Prince and the Replacements was a band that perfectly captured the spirit of Gram Parsons. Long before anyone had heard of alt-country, the Jay... more »
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In the mid-'80s, the last thing the world expected from the frosty hometown of Prince and the Replacements was a band that perfectly captured the spirit of Gram Parsons. Long before anyone had heard of alt-country, the Jayhawks redefined the Minneapolis sound and damn near perfected it on this 1989 sophomore effort. From the evocative pop of "Two Angels" to the hauntingly resonant "I'm Still Dreaming, Now I'm Yours," it's less rock-centric than the group's subsequent George Drakoulias-produced albums, but no less memorable. All in all, a perfect showcase for Mark Olson and Gary Louris's songwriting and harmonies. --Bill Forman
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Probably the Last Recording of it's Kind!
Ed Davis | Philly, PA | 05/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Jayhawks Blue Earth record is a one of a kind! Or maybe two of a kind if you count their very first self titled album which is no longer available (OOP). This one is still available, and I strongly suggest buying it before it's not available anymore! It's on the very small Twin-tone label. One listen to this gem, and you'll understand where the Jayhawks came from. The pre-big label Jayhawks doing what they do best, and that's defining what good down home Americana music is all about. Talk about musical "hooks"! I dare you to try and count them on Blue Earth. The songwriting team of Olsen/Louris has never sounded better. These songs will stick in your head for years to come. Although I'm a fan of all the Jayhawks material, Blue Earth has always been my sentimental favorite because the songs are so real and unpolished. By that I mean, this album doesn't have all the glitter that some studio albums have. This sounds more like the guys got together in a studio and played the album straight through live, while having a great time doing it! Do yourself a big favor and pick this one up, then you'll understand where all the other great Alt-country bands came from. Remember, before Uncle Tupelo, there was the Jayhawks!"
The jayhawks' first was the best...
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 12/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw these guys live in a bar in Minneapolis back in 1988 (I was there organizing an anti-war protest, and was taken to see "the best band in town" by an anarchist friend) there was no fashionable alt.country movement to join. And unlike Uncle Tupelo and some others, Olson, Louris & Co. never played punk rock as far as I know. They just heard a sound, up there in the North Country.
Eight of these songs are by Mark Olson, and four are co-written by Olson and Louris. This is absolutely beautiful, melodic, poignant country rock. My favorite tracks are "She's Not Alone Anymore," "Commonplace Streets," The Baltimore Sun," and "Sioux City." BLUE EARTH was to be followed by just two more brilliant albums, HOLLYWOOD TOWN HALL," which has a uniformly downbeat tone, and TOMORROW THE GREEN GRASS, which has a more "Beatles-esque" pop feel, and a greater diversity of mood. Both are present in BLUE EARTH. It was the template for all that was to follow. And in my view, you cannot have the Jayhawks without Mark Olson -- it would be kind of like trying to have the Beatles without Lennon OR McCartney! He was the soul of the band, the main singer and songwriter, and he gives the group its distinctive, sweet sensibility. More power to Louris and the others for wanting to continue, but the post-Olson recordings lost the magic for me.
I'm glad to see Mark and Gary have reunited, as of 2009."
Jayhawks entered through the 'out' door
Peter Booth | New Hampshire | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Jayhawks, perhaps the finest American country rock band of the 80s and the 90s have disavowed their country past and have gone rock/ pop - no great loss because their rock is as good as their country. That is to say, it's as good as gold. But this, their so-called 'first album' is a gem in a world of dirge. The upfront acoustic strumming, the heavily rock-influenced playing of Gary Louris and those harmonies conspire to insinuate a path into your brain where they stay for quite some time.The Jayhawks come across on this record as standard-bearers for the Neil Young/ Gram Parsons school of country rock, with a healthy dose of pop smarts that seem to be missing from most other country rock bands. As they went through two more albums, they became less and less country but no less pastoral in their overall vision. Mark Olsen called it a day in 1995 to spend more time with wife Victoria Williams and Louris opted to keep the band going and going in a new direction. But Blue Earth is about the finest country record of it's generation and it appears on Twintone, the home of the Replacements. This is a recommendation in itself, never mind the fact that the songs are among the strongest written in the genre. Country acts starved of decent material need look no further."