Hollywood Town Hall

Hollywood Town Hall

4.0 1
by The Jayhawks
     
 

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In 1993 country rock wasn't the hottest of genres, but you'd never have guessed it by listening to Hollywood Town Hall, the Jayhawks' third album. Comparisons to groups like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers aren't that far off the mark, with singers MarkSee more details below

Overview

In 1993 country rock wasn't the hottest of genres, but you'd never have guessed it by listening to Hollywood Town Hall, the Jayhawks' third album. Comparisons to groups like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers aren't that far off the mark, with singers Mark Olson and Gary Louris harmonizing sweetly (and often roughly) in the best Gram Parsons-Chris Hillman tradition. The Minneapolis group infuse their brand of country with heavy doses of rock and soul, especially on tunes such as the slinky "Waiting for the Sun" and the muscular rocker "Martin's Song." Unlike most modern-day country rockers and alt-country outfits, though, the Jayhawks are unfailingly melodic and can summon up moments of true beauty, such as "Take Me with You (When You Go)," which makes Hollywood Town Hall one of the more pop-leaning entries in the often rough-edged world of revisionist country.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
It was one of the more unlikely major label releases of 1992 -- nothing to do with grunge, certainly not a last holdout from '80s mainstream sludge. On the flip side, it wasn't really the incipient alternative country/No Depression sound either, for all that there was a clear influence from the likes of Gram Parsons and fellow travelers throughout the grooves. This wasn't a sepia-toned collection of murder ballads or the similarly minded efforts that were almost overreactions to Nashville's triumphalism throughout the '90s. At base, Hollywood Town Hall found a finely balanced point -- accessible enough for should-have-been success (sclerotic classic rock station programmers were fools to ignore this while still playing the Eagles into the ground) but bowing to no trends. Its lack of variety tells against a bit -- while there are certainly stronger moments than others, most of the songs do have a tendency to blend into each other -- but the core strengths of the group come through. George Drakoulias fleshed out the sound just enough, with the side help of performers like Benmont Tench and Nicky Hopkins adding fine extra touches without swamping the identity of the group. Piano and organ may be prevalent, but it's really Olson and Louris' great harmonies that are the core of things, giving songs like "Crowded in the Wings" and "Settled Down Like Rain" a high-and-lonesome sparkle. Callahan's a good drummer, if not particularly noteworthy, but he keeps the pace steady without dominating the tracks, Drakoulias keeping him back in the mix a bit. Olson's eventual departure isn't really explained by this disc -- he might have been tired of the attempt to aim for commercial success, but this sounds more like something made for the group's own satisfaction that connects beyond it as well.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/1998
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646941225
catalogNumber:
69412

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jayhawks   Primary Artist
Ken Callahan   Drums
Gary Louris   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Fuzz Guitar
Mark Olson   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Marc Perlman   Bass

Technical Credits

Joe Henry   Liner Notes
Nicky Hopkins   Contributor
Benmont Tench   Contributor
George Drakoulias   Producer
Charley Drayton   Contributor
Tom Herbers   Engineer
Brian Jenkins   Engineer
Brendan O'Brien   Engineer
Jim Rondinelli   Engineer
Howie Weinberg   Mastering
Charlie Drayton   Contributor
Martyn Atkins   Art Direction

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