Jayhawks Mockingbird Time

Jayhawks Mockingbird Time
It's fitting that "Hide Your Colors" (the opening track off this first Jayhawks album to feature both founding members Gary Louris and Mark Olson since 1995) soars with Beatles-esque majesty. For alt-country fans from the early '90s, the Jayhawks were in many respects their Beatles, the standard by which nearly every band within the genre were measured against. Enough time has passed that the expectations for Mockingbird Time aren't as high as they could have been, especially if Louris hadn't ably carried the 'Hawks banner after Olson's departure. Nevertheless, Mockingbird Time delivers everything a fan could want: immaculately constructed folk rock driven by Louris and Olson's harmonies, with subtle hints of the group's primary touchstones, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, et al. The only obvious change is Louris toning down the guitar heroics, with the trade-off being a greater emphasis on overall group arrangements. This is what makes Mockingbird Time much more than an added bonus to a reunion tour ― these are truly some of the most affecting songs Louris and Olson have written together. Another chapter in the story of one of America's greatest bands has begun. (Rounder/Universal)