Often it seems that alot of great music stems from a bands internal conflict - strained personal relations or competition between band members. Notso The Jayhawks, who on Tomorrow The Green Grass, sound,quite rarely for a great band, content, but never arrogant. This may explain their relative lack of success, they have some beautiful songs for us, not an attitude or a message that could get in the way.
Blue opens the record wonderfully, an acoustic ballad with a country flavour , understated and elegant electric lead playing from Louris, those Olson-Loris harmonies that stand the hairs on end. Most importantly perhaps, the lyrics are always awesome, never flashy but plain and beautiful - as Tom Waits said about someone else - like a bird sitting on a wire for a second, then flying off. On occassion the guitars are louder and rockier - Miss William's guitar and 10 Little Kids especially, but always a sense of wonder, tinged with meloncholly that is never wearing or tiresome, but perfect - 10 Little Kids feels like finishing work on a balmy Friday evening in July - that good!
The consistently high level of songwriting we are treated to on this record is staggering! I truly believe them all to be classics - from Ann Jane's innocent sorrow to Red's Song's jubilance, The Jayhawks really lay it down. Grand Funk's 'Bad Time' is far and away the worst thing on the record! Perhaps the ballads are their strongest point - Two Hearts and Over My Shoulder are so (sorry to use the word again) achingly beautiful that they deserve to be heard by us all.
If you have never heard this record, then I envy you the pleasure of for the first time hearing a record of pure talent - love of writing songs, love of performing them, love of the songs themselves and the love of life and of love itself that makes being around so great. As it says on the liner notes 'dig in, there's plenty to go 'round...'