The Jayhawks Keep Things Familiar

Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, a new album from The Jayhawks, will be released on Friday, July 13th. But chances are, you’ve already heard many of its songs… just not these Jayhawks versions.

Nine of the 11 tracks are songs that head ‘Hawk Gary Louris co-wrote with other notable singer-songwriters, most of which were recorded and released by those artists. These include the Dixie Chicks (“Everybody Knows” and “Bitter End”), Natalie Maines (“Come Cryin’ to Me”), Jakob Dylan (“Gonna Be a Darkness”), Ari Hest (“Bird Never Flies”) and Carrie Rodriguez (“El Dorado”). The set is rounded out by two new Louris compositions.

Recorded in two sessions in 2017, Back Roads features current members Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg taking lead vocals on two songs each, with Louris on the remainder. The word from those who caught the band at the Amplify Decatur concert a couple months back is that the group is in peak form as a live act, which bodes well for the album.