As cofounders of the Jayhawks, Mark Olson and Gary Louris specialized in a colloquial vocal style, where harmonic precision was less important than an unguarded delivery. The pair never resorted to an old-timey, faux-Southern delivery for down-home feel; the way their voices moved from nasally, weathered rasps to gentle whispers was effortless. Although Olson parted ways with the Jayhawks in 1995, this honest vocal style loses none of its impact on the pair's new reunion album, Ready for the Flood. But the men don't linger in the past: While songs such as "The Rose Society" and "Doves and Stones" could fit on Tomorrow the Green Grass, Flood is definitely not a Jayhawks album. The sparse production (courtesy of the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson) provides the perfect landscape for a folk album that often explores dark passages of rhythm and blues.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.