The Jayhawks: Music from the North Country

By: Ron Hart

For nearly 25 years, Minneapolis' The Jayhawks have been the standard bearers of alternative country, releasing seven albums considered by many fans of the "No Depression" movement to be highly ranked amongst the scene's most heralded masterpieces. And, just in time for the band's long-awaited reunion comes Music from the North Country (released July 7 on Sony Legacy), a sprawling three-disc anthology covering the span of the group's celebrated career. While the first CD contains 20 of the Jayhawks' most beloved songs from just about every phase of their career, it's the second disc of rarities that will most intrigue longtime fans. Included here is a host of rare demos, b-sides, soundtrack and compilation tracks, live cuts and other curios, most notably "Falling Star," a key track from the band's extremely rare self-titled 1986 debut that has yet to be given a proper reissue. Meanwhile, Disc 3 is a DVD featuring all six of the band's videos and an EPK promoting their seminal 1992 album Hollywood Town Hall, which contains some great live material including a cover of Tim Hardin's "Reason To Believe." A single-disc version of this set is also available, but your best bet is to fork out the extra bucks and spring for the deluxe. You'll be glad you did.

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[Published on: 8/27/09]

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