The Jayhawks- America's greatest unknown band. If there were any justice in the cruel world of music, these guys would be multi-millionaires, sunning themselves in Beverley Hills, sipping champagne while young, buxom beauties feed them grapes. But instead, they remain undiscovered by the general public, destined to forever plough a lonely Americana furrow. But what a furrow it is.
The Jayhawks are perhaps best known for their crowning achievement Hollywood Town Hall, a towering album that still stands as the best slice of American music made by anyone in the last 15 years. With Rainy Day Music however, they have created an album that comes close, oh so close, to equalling their former heights. The first six songs are magnificant, with Stumbling Through the Dark, Tailspin and Save It For a Rainy Day among the best songs in the 'Hawks canon. Problems arise however, when Gary Louris, the chief songwriter, allows three songs to make it on to the album that are, in all honesty, substandard. While one of the songs-You Look so Young- is penned by himself, the other wretched two, Don't Let the World Get in Your Way and Will I See You in Heaven, prevent the album from being a bona fide masterpiece. If only Louris had replaced these songs with Fools on Parade, Say Your Prayers and Caught With A Smile on my Face from the bonus disc that came with early pressings of the album, Rainy Day Music would not only have been the greatest Jayhawks album,but one of the greatest ever recorded. As I said, oh so close.