“Mockingbird Time” sees the Jayhawks return to their original line-up in style as Mark Olson returns to the fore. Olson was with the band from 1985-1995. The album represents the group’s first effort to produce in almost ten years. Before this, they had decided to take an indefinite break after their 2003 release, “Rainy Day Music.” Released in the United States on Sept. 20, 2011, “Mockingbird Time” lives up to all the fans’ expectations.
The Jayhawks’ music is classified as alternative country or alternative rock, but simply put, their sound is a return to the past. It is reminiscent of the great American singer/songwriters of the 1970s and 80s. “Mockingbird Time” has a wonderful blend of acoustic and electric guitars that complement each other like popcorn and movies.
A notable track off of “Mockingbird Time” is “Tiny Arrows,” which is a slower ballad that evokes memories of Neil Young. Throughout the track, there is a smooth lead guitar improvising in the background. On top of this, there are three traditional solos that never overpower the listener.
“Mockingbird Time” is well-paced, with several ballads mixed with plenty of energetic and more radio-friendly tracks. These include “Highwater Blues,” “Cinnamon Love” and “Her Mr. Man.”
The album is well-balanced and progresses seamlessly. It will surely be regarded as great American folk/rock music for decades. This album should stand the test of time.
–By Ian Shelly