The Jayhawks Come Back To RDU With 'Paging Mr. Proust'

Jun 21, 2016

The Jayhawks' tour for their new album Paging Mr. Proust brings them to Carrboro today. With more than a few Americana classics under their collective belt, the Minneapolis natives sound energized and excited 30 years into their career.

Through that time, lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Gary Louris has been a driving force behind the band's success. He stopped into WUNC's Chapel Hill studio this week.

"Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces" is a great way to start a record. It really pulls the listener in when The Jayhawks hit that chorus and all of those gorgeous harmonies.

"We made a conscious decision early on that we wanted to make a vibe-y record over a clinically perfect record," Louris said. "And I think we achieved what we wanted."

The chorus of "Pretty Roses In Your Hair" conjures a classic pop sound, reminiscent of The Association. But then there's some pretty loud, crunchy guitar that comes in halfway through. And there are compelling experimental sounds on "Ace." Again, some wild guitar stuff, and what sounds like a simple drum loop. Add to that a combination of weird synth sounds.

Louris recently worked with Django Haskins from Durham-based favorite The Old Ceremony. And, there's another North Carolina connection in the song "Comeback Kids." The very first line talks about catching an early morning flight from Minneapolis with nothing but a "carry-on bag and a Southwest ticket in my hand."

Louris joked he was hoping for an endorsement from Southwest Airlines for the reference.

The protagonist is heading to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. "RDU" sets the rhythm for the catch chorus here.

Louris said he once dated a girl from Durham and flew into RDU once a month to visit her. He said the song makes for an emotional performance; he thinks of her each time he plays it.

Gary Louris is singer and guitarist for The Jayhawks.  Their new record is called Paging Mr. Proust and they'll be playing at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro tonight.