In praise of The Jayhawks

One of more recent musical discoveries has been the country rock band The Jayhawks.

I bought a best-of super cheap years ago and gave it a few spins and liked it, but it took a few more pieces of the musical jigsaw to fall in place before I could really appreciate them. Now their Rainy Day Music album is a constant fixture for me.

A lovely, deceptively simple love song called All The Right Reasons from that album gets me, partly because it’s an American band name-checking “the train in Manchester, England” – my local city and somewhere I have a deep affinity for.

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But what I really like about a lot of The Jayhawks’ output is that even their love songs have a dark side if you go looking.

There’s something to be said about how fairly melancholy ideas can be disguised, inverted and polished into something beautiful only for you to unravel them later. They’re often recovering from something and coming to a realisation through the passage of time so they can sing their wisdom instead of adhering to much of pop music’s relatively shallow blind faith.

All the best songs have depth. I recommend diving into The Jayhawks and Rainy Day Music is a great place to start. Along with All The Right Reasons, the songs Angelyne, Save It For A Rainy Day and Tailspin are also great additions.

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