Posted: 25 Jul 2014
19 July 2014
Having reconvened to promote a trio of album reissues, alt-country rockers The
Jayhawks visited Tyneside as part of the annual Summertyne Americana weekend –
when a large influx of musicians temporarily turn this part of Gateshead into
the 51st State of the USA.
With backing from his 1997 touring band, Jayhawks main man Gary Louris
concentrated on songs from that year’s release “The Sound of Lies”, 2000’s follow-up “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music”from 2003 – with occasional deviations into other corners of his back
The presence of a standing “pit” for this gig helped bridge the gap between the
band and the seated audience, but things only really moved up into top gear after
when the on-stage five piece line-up were augmented by guitarist Marc Ford
after eight solid but workmanlike songs.
Formerly part of the Black Crowes, Ford had earlier opened proceedings as part
of an acoustic duo whose set was somewhat undermined by his between-song
rambling. Plugged in and guesting with
old acquaintance Louris though, his presence beefed up and enhanced “Waiting for the Sun.”
That was one of two tracks dusted off from the band’s 1992 breakthrough record, “Hollywood Town Hall” and by the time
keynote song “Blue” (from 1995)
arrived, the set was galloping along nicely.
Following spirited renditions of Rainy Day Music highpoints “Tampa to Tulsa” and “Eyes of Sarahjane” former Green on Red guitarist Chuck Prophet
appeared from the crowd for a set-closing blast through “I’d Run Away” from 1995’s back catalogue classic, “Tomorrow the Green Grass”.
Returning for an encore, a relaxed-looking Louris appeared to deviate from his
intended set list when fans began shouting out requests, returning to the 1998
album “Weird Tales” by occasional side
project Golden Smog for “If I Only Had A
Car” and “Until You Came Along.”
Proceedings then concluded with “Tailspin”- The band’s twentieth and final song of an enjoyable evening that may not be
repeated in the near future, recent press coverage confirming that Louris regretted
the release of newly-recorded material when reforming the band in 2011. As a
tribute band, though who better than the original players to evoke some welcome