After 35 years as one of Minnesota’s most nationally celebrated rock bands, the Jayhawks shouldn’t need much of an introduction locally.
Their 1992 album “Hollywood Town Hall” helped put “alt-country” in the Webster dictionary. Their harmonious ’95-’03 singles “Blue” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and “Save It for a Rainy Day” racked up radio play. Their live shows remain popular, too, often with fun covers thrown in — as can be expected in this online performance for the Star Tribune's Mini-Grandstand.
Still, the Jayhawks’ newest album (their 11th) requires something of a reintroduction. Titled “XOXO,” it’s the band’s most Band-like effort. All the members pitched in heavily and full-heartedly in the writing and singing, from drummer Tim O’Reagan’s high-revving rocker “Dogtown Days” to keyboardist Karen Grotberg’s tender “Ruby” to several fun Gary Louris/O’Reagan tag-teamers.
The spirited results prompted this accolade from Rolling Stone: “It’s hard to think of a contemporary American band that’s successfully sustained itself while operating outside the parameters of any defined genre or radio format for as long as the Jayhawks.”
“XOXO” is available via jayhawksofficial.com and most music retail sites. The band also recently posted some unreleased live recordings at its Bandcamp.com page. They’re due back on the road early next year.