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Welcome Back: The Jayhawks – "I didn't like music any more"

The Americana veterans return (again), but don’t expect Mark Olsen to be back with them (again) any time soon.

As leader of one of the foremost pioneers of Americana, Gary Louris has been fronting The Jayhawks, on and off, for more than 30 years. The continued existence of the Minneapolis band looked to be in jeopardy following 2012’s fractious reunion tour, after which co-founder Mark Olson quit abruptly and Louris underwent rehab.

But The Jayhawks have now returned in gloriously undimmed style with new album Paging Mr. Proust, co-produced in Portland with Peter Buck and Tucker Martine.

What made you decide to make another Jayhawks record?

I went through big changes with rehab and everything, then came out of it three-and-a-half years ago. I didn’t like music any more and I didn’t like myself. But I eventually started trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. And in my mind I just kept coming back to The Jayhawks. I guess I had a tendency to always look at what I didn’t have instead of what I did have. And I realised that we were just a great band. It also gives me a structure. I need to have a rehearsal space and a band and be able to play with people I know. I guess we just kind of reacquainted ourselves and started jamming, which is something we never used to do.

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