Hollywood Town Hall - American Recordings 1992

Tracks: 1. Waiting For The Sun / 2. Crowded In The Wings / 3. Clouds / 4. Two Angels / 5. Take Me With You / 6. Sister Cry / 7. Settled Down Like Rain / 8. Wichita / 9. Nevada, California / 10. Martin's Song


The music of the Jayhawks is often referred to as alternative country; and indeed there are a lot of similarities with legendary country-rock groups like the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Long Ryders, Green on Red and even the Byrds. The songs on ”Hollywood Town” are generally melodic and nice listening, with occasional crackling guitar solos.

The two main forces in the group are singer and guitarists Mark Olson and Gary Louvris who also together wrote the fine songs that characterize the album. Sounding guitars and tight vocal harmonies also characterize "Hollywood Town", which indeed also usually is regarded as one of the group's strongest albums. Should objections be raised, these might be that there is a certain degree of predictability in both songwriting and arrangements, and that there are in general few new ideas in the music.

Nevertheless, there are really several fine and memorable songs, among which the gently bluesy "Sister Cry" could be a track to highlight. Otherwise, you can on the catchy single "Waiting for the Sun" feel legacy of Gram Parsons. "Two Angels" and "Nevada California" are a fine ballads with beautiful vocal harmonies. On the edgier songs like "Take Me With You" and "Wichita" neatness is more challenged without detracting from the overall melodic impetus.

Along with the sequel "Tomorrow the Green Grass" this will probably be the album I would recommend to introduce the group; there are also great songs on later albums such as "Save it for a Rainy Day" from "Rainy Day Music" (2003)

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