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Check It Out: Natalie Maines and the Jayhawks’ “Come Cryin’ to Me”

This is what Rolling Stone’s David Menconi said of The Nighthawks’ “Hollywood Town Hall” in a 2014 feature suggesting which rock albums country music fans should own:

When you get right down to it, country music wants to be sad. And there’s no more forlorn sound in modern twang-rock than the vocal harmonies of Jayhawks main men Gary Louris and Mark Olson, which could only sound more grief-stricken if Emmylou Harris herself were to sing along. The Jayhawks’ big-league debut is a stately affair, evoking shades of Gram Parsons’ Flying Burrito Brothers. It suggests how Tom Petty might have turned out if he’d come up playing country music in Minnesota rather than rock in Floridaโ€ฆ 

“Come Cryin’ to Me,” is from “Back Roads and Abandoned Motels,” the tenth solo album by band, which some describe as “alt country.”  band The Jayhawks. The record was released last July. The vocalist is Natalie Maines, The Dixie Chicks’ lead vocalist.

The album features re-recordings of songs co-written by Louris. His collaborators on “Come Cryin’ to Me” were Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. The latter two are Dixie Chicks co-founders. Here is more on Maines. Suffice it to say that she is a very brave person.

Natalie Naines has, of course, was a lightening rod for criticism during the build up to the Iraq war in the 1990s. Indeed, the reaction to the Dixie Chicks’ criticism of President Bush and the war would fit right in with the polarization that characterizes today’s politics. Here is Natalie Maines 2013 solo album, “Mother,” which has a version of “Don’t Come Cryin’ to Me.” Also check out “The Essential Dixie Chicks” for the group’s big songs. Click here or on the image for “Back Roads and Abandoned Motels” from The Jayhawks.

 

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.