September 14, 2016

The Jayhawks - Tomorrow The Green Grass (1995)


The Jayhawks are one of the essential 90s country-rock (alt-country) bands. They probably shared the same fanbase as the Wilco-Uncle Tupelo-Son Volt trinity and were probably somewhat responsible for the resurgence and popularity of country rock in the 90s. I've only heard Tomorrow The Green Grass and the preceding album, Hollywood Town Hall, from this group. I think Tomorrow The Green Grass is the more exciting and consistent record; I don't remember much from Hollywood Town Hall, but I guess that speaks for itself, right? This is like Beatles For Sale revisited in the 1990s. Beatles For Sale is notable for its slight country influences and sad John Lennon songwriting. In addition to that, the instrumentation and especially the harmonies bear a striking resemblance to that 1964-1965 Beatles sound. The lead singer's voice and singing is captivating; he reminds me of Gram Parsons, Tom Verlaine, and Stephen Malkmus and I absolutely love all of their vocals. To me, Tomorrow The Green Grass isn't as personal, nostalgic, and intimate as Wilco's Being There or Son Volt's Trace, but I think the poppy melodies are even more impressive than most everything the Uncle Tupelo offshoots ever put out.

Sample

Tomorrow The Green Grass