Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for..........

J is for..........Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks are one of my favorite bands. Their sound has been defined as alt-country, or Americana, and I suppose that will do. I would just say they're a great rock n' roll band. My girls have been listening to The Jayhawks since they were born, Hollywood Town Hall and Rainy Day Music, the kind of music I needed to share with my kids.

When I listen to The Jayhawks now, certain songs are like triggers, memories playing like my own personal music videos. My mind wanders back to the 8 years I lived in Minnesota: the friends, the shows, the breath in the air when you got in your car on a freezing winter night and as soon as you started the car The Jayhawks were.....there.

The Jayhawks take me back to that very first night in Minneapolis. It had been a long day of hauling and unpacking, and I needed some music and some beer. I took the first of many walks from my new apartment to The Uptown Bar and Grill. The Jayhawks were the band that night, and it was love at first sound.

The Jayhawks take me back to a deserted Kansas road, or was it Nebraska, or South Dakota, or New Mexico, somewhere with a perfect blue sky, one of our many road trips north during the summer. Quinn's singing, her little voice belting out "Save it for a Rainy Day," fills the car. I glance over my shoulder and Scout is looking out her window, and it could be me looking out that window, and I smile because I know she's making her own video.

The Jayhawks take me back to the night Meg and I saw Mark and Gary here in Tucson. We got to talk with Gary after the show, and when he signed a CD for the girls, he told us his favorite line from To Kill a Mockingbird: thus began our longest journey together. We had just used that very line to accompany a shadowbox of Scout's handprint.

All these memories come to me when I listen to The Jayhawks. The best music isn't just about nostalgia though. The best music goes on creating new memories no matter how old the songs are. Every time I listen to The Jayhawks, there are new memories in the making.


  1. Thank you for introducing me to the Jayhawks. I'm going to have to look them up now. Good taste in music. I agree songs can make or enhance memories. Nice post.

  2. I've never heard of them, but I will look them up now. I like.

  3. Tim, I've never heard of The Jayhawks, but I really liked that song.

  4. Isn't it weird how music can take you back years and decades in the flash of an instant. When I hear a certain Lionel Richie song, I remember my high school prom like it was yesterday. It just takes me back.

  5. Music is so powerful. Some songs are forever etched into my memory, so much so that when one plays it's almost as though the room temperature changes to match that significant moment.

  6. wow - I'm not very familiar with them - it seems the cold parts of the US are quite a Mecca for bands. Nice post