On Sunday my wife and daughter wanted to do some shopping at Lindale Mall before going to dinner at Biaggi’s so I dropped them off and went to Half Price Books to do some browsing. I picked up a couple of CD’s, coincidentally both related to the Jayhawks.
Gary Louris – Vagabonds (CD, Rykodisc RCD 10925, 2008)($7.98) Even though I’ve already purchased this on vinyl and mp3’s– when I saw this in the CD bin used I couldn’t pass it up. This release isn’t even that old, so I was surprised to see it. Plus, I didn’t have a 320Kbps rip for my iPod. This is certainly an early pronouncement, but Vagabonds is one of my top releases of 2008. There are purists out their who are decrying the too-polished feel of the production that Chris Robinson of the Crowes brought. I like the Early Seventies feel about it– some of the songs remind me of the cover songs that Foamfoot did at the Troubador in Los Angeles in 1994. Foamfoot was a band that Chris Robinson and Marc Ford from the Black Crowes put together with some other folks including Gary Louris. The bootleg I have has covers of songs by Free, Blind Faith, Marshall Tucker, the Small Faces, CSN and others. So, it doesn’t surprise me that this record has these influences since that was the music they played together. Really, the Black Crowes always sounded like a potpourri of these influences. Robinson’s involvement in Vagabonds started with his assistance producing the Gary Louris / Mark Olson record which should see the light of day later in 2008 after Mark and Gary have toured their current solo efforts.
Mark Olson and the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers – My Own Jo Ellen (CD, Hightone Records HCD8127, 2000) ($5.95) This is a cut-out of Mark’s 2000 release with his ex, Victoria Williams. A nice, loose affair with electric guitars. In some respects, I like this better than his new release. It needs some more “burn in time” before I can make a more formed opinion.