JAYHAWKS Biography - Music bands & groups


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One of the most prominent alternative country bands of the '90s, the Jayhawks was formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1985 when bass player Mark Olson got together with guitarist Marc Perlman and drummer Norm Rogers. At their first gig they met guitarist Gary Louris who joined the band. Their debut album, The Jayhawks (1986), got nowhere.  That year Norm Rogers was replaced by Thad Spencer. Blue Earth (1989) garnered critical raves and the Jayhawks, on hiatus at that point, reunited and took to the road. In 1992, Hollywood Town Hall earned more critical attention, while the band added keyboardist Karen Grotberg to the line-up. In 1995 they released Tomorrow the Green Eyes and Mark Olson was replaced by Tim O'Regan. Their 1997 Sound of Lies was more rock & roll than country, signaling the group's new direction. Karen Grotberg left in 1998 to have a baby, and Jen Gunderman joined the band in 1999. In 2000 they released Smile.