Contact Us

10 Years Ago: The Jayhawks’ ‘Rainy Day Music’ Album Released

The Jayhawks, Rainy Day MusicThe Jayhawks’ sonic footprint can be traced all the way back to 1986 — but most rock fans remember the group for a pair of master-crafted ’90s albums: ‘Hollywood Town Hall’ (1992) and ‘Tomorrow the Green Grass’ (1995). The latter spent nine weeks on the Billboard charts, due in part to radio airplay for single ‘Blue.’ and both records have been widely acclaimed as two of the era’s best.

The “classic” lineup of the band featured the core songwriting team of Gary Louris and Mark Olson, who shared guitar-playing and vocal duties. (Their singing styles match in a very Flying Burrito Brothers sort of way.) But in 1995, seemingly at the height of their popularity, Olson exited the band, leaving Louris to carry on by himself under the Jayhawks moniker. (That same year, Louris wound up gaining drummer Tim O’Reagan, who has been a full-time member and integral part of the band ever since, but we’ll return to him in a few.)

The Olson-less Jayhawks lineup produced two so-so records, 1997’s ‘Sound of Lies’ and 2000’s ‘Smile,’ but it wasn’t until ‘Rainy Day Music,’ released 10 years ago today, that the band truly touched on its past glory.

‘Rainy Day Music,’ which remained on the Billboard charts for six weeks and peaked at No. 51, the band’s best showing to date, was chock full of top-of-the-line Louris songs (‘Save It For a Rainy Day,’ ‘Angelyne’) — with plenty of nods to the Byrds (‘Stumbling Through the Dark,’ co-written with ‘90s auteur Matthew Sweet) and Crosby, Stills & Nash (‘Madman’). Production duties were handled by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon), while Rick Rubin, whose Los Angeles-based Def American had released ‘Town Hall’ and ‘Green Grass,’ served as executive producer.

Perhaps the most welcome surprise on the album is how much O’Reagan’s contributed. His ragged harmonies fit in a way Olson’s never did, and the two tracks he brought to the album — ‘Tampa to Tulsa,’ which has since become a staple in the Jayhawks’ live set and been covered live by Bon Iver, and ‘Don’t Let the World Get In Your Way,’ a song O’Reagan had recorded for a solo album as ‘Girl/World’ but redrafted here to much greater effect — are among his finest.

Watch the Jayhawks’ video for ‘Save It for a Rainy Day’

Subscribe to on

Next: The Black Keys' 'Thickfreakness' Released

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!