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Jayhawks Mates Enjoying Duo Reunion

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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Dennis Quaid gets an unwitting assist for bringing former Jayhawks principals Mark Olson and Gary Louris back together again.

The two had parted ways somewhat acrimoniously in 1995, when Olson left the band for a solo career. But in 2001, makers of Quaid’s film “The Rookie” reached out to Olson for a collaboration with Louris. They would ultimately not use the song, but it prompted the two singer-songwriters to resolve their differences and start working together again.

“It got us talking,” recalls Louris, 53, who guided the Jayhawks until the group became inactive after 2004. “We hadn’t talked for five, six years. I met (Olson) out at his house in Joshua Tree and we just cleared the air, went through a little therapy session between the two of us about everything. I think we realized how much we missed working together, and how much we missed being friends.

“So once we finished, we started writing songs.”

The reunion has finally resulted in the first Olson-Louris duo album, “Ready For the Flood,” which came out in the U.S. this week after a European release in 2008. They’re also playing some Jayhawks songs at their shows, but Olson says there was no real consideration about coming back together under the band name.

“I think we wanted to just record the two of us, singing and playing our guitars,” explains Olson, 47. “I made four records with the Jayhawks, then Gary made a number after that. We wanted to try something different.

“It’s working really well. We sing really good together — we learned to play together, basically. We learned Louvin Brothers songs together and just had so many experiences together, and whenever we play together good things happen. It’s nice to have somebody to play with like that. I think we appreciate it more now than we did a decade ago.”

Mark Olson and Gary Louris perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 3) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call (724) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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