It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since The Jayhawks formed back in the twin cities. The mark they have left on the Americana music scene is undeniable, but also quite puzzling. Why in the hell is this band not a household name? What kind of music industry can let a gem of a band like this seemingly go unnoticed to the greater masses, especially after delivering a string of brilliant and critically acclaimed records?
I first heard The Jayhawks when I worked at a record store in college back in St. Louis. The label rep/ promo guy (you know, Artie Fufkin) brought in a promo copy of Tomorrow the Green Grass the week of its release and was saying great things about these guys. The label even had a display contest in which the store with the biggest and best Jayhawks display won a prize. I love that fucking record and the band so much that I made the entire back of the store one enormous Jayhawks display. (I swear I still have the photo somewhere, tweet me later and I’ll track it down) Oh, and I won by the way.
One of the other benefits of working in a record store back in the day, besides all the free promo CDs, was the free tickets that came along with them. I got to see The Jayhawks at the legendary Mississippi Nights. The show was EPIC. Fast forward to last week at another legendary venue, the Fillmore here in San Francisco, I witnessed The Jayhawks sounding better than ever.