Local Current Blog

The Jayhawks reunite late-’90s ‘Sound of Lies’ lineup for reissues and tour

Jayhawks publicity photo

As a follow-up to their 2009 Music From the North Country compilation and subsequent reunion tour, the Jayhawks have announced that they will reissue more of their albums and reunite once again—this time with their late-’90s, post-Mark Olson, Sound of Lies-era lineup that was led by Gary Louris and featured Tim O’Reagan, Marc Perlman, Karen Groberg, and Run Westy Run’s Kraig Johnson.

The band posted the announcement as a status their Facebook page, which has already garnered thousands of likes:

They say that there is no going back. They say that you can never go home again. But we are sure the hell going to try. Karen Grotberg, Tim O’Reagan, Marc Perlman, Gary Louris, and Kraig Johnson are thrilled to dive back into the darkness of Sound Of Lies, the joyous pop of Smile, and the simple elegance of Rainy Day Music. The Jayhawks are currently booking shows for Summer and Fall 2014 in the US, Canada and Europe in support of the upcoming expanded reissues of those 3 classic albums. Come along for the ride.

While the most recent Jayhawks tours focused on their earlier work and the alt-country-leaning harmonies of Louris and Olson, this new leg of reunion dates will bring the electrified work of their later albums back into the spotlight. 1997’s Sound of Lies especially is considered to be an underappreciated gem by fans, and the subsequent Smile and Rainy Day Music showcased some the most focused and poetic songwriting of Louris’s career—and offered up an introduction to drummer Tim O’Reagan’s own songwriting chops with tracks like “Tampa to Tulsa” and “Don’t Let the World Get in Your Way.”

“We’re very happy to be re-releasing these three albums that are near and dear to us,” Louris said when reached at the studio yesterday. “And we couldn’t be more excited to be playing them to fans here and abroad—it’s been way too long since many of these songs have been performed live. One shouldn’t live in the past, but it sure is fun to visit from time to time.”

According to the band’s official archivist and spokesperson, PD Larson, the reissues are expected to be released in July and will contain “bonus tracks, new liner notes, updated mastering, and deluxe vinyl releases.” A run of dates in the U.K. have already been announced, and Larson says we can expect more one-off shows and festival dates in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. to be revealed soon, including at least one gig in Minnesota.

For now, here’s a flashback to late-’90s Jayhawks and their song “Big Star.” Which makes me wonder: will Jessy Greene rejoin the band for any of these reunion dates?