Rainy Day Music
Great records kick off with a solid one-two punch, and the Jayhawks’ new album, their seventh, does not disappoint. The leadoff track, “Stumbling Through the Dark,” a glorious example of Byrds-style folk rock, is followed by “Tailspin,” a rocking Dylanesque plaint with a wonderful “You’re going down, baby, down” refrain. From there, Rainy Day Music has all the earmarks of a wistful classic. Principal songwriter Gary Louris has a firm grasp on how to pen material that references some of the finer American and British rock acts of the early 1970s, and even the handful of songs by drummer-guitarist Tim O’Reagan and bassist Marc Perlman fit in with the high standard set by Louris’ tunes. If your idea of great American rock starts with Dylan, the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield and runs through the Band, this will be one of the best things you’ll hear all year. It’s quite stunning, really.