Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fifty States: Nevada

Jayhawks: Nevada, California [purchase]

"Can you help me to find Nevada, California
The last thing I did
Was I tried to hold her."

I'm not sure if this is cheating because there isn't actually a Nevada, California. There IS a Nevada City, which is about 45 minutes away from Chico, where I happened to get my undergrad degree. In fact, in 1992 I was serving as music director of the Chico State campus radio station, KCSC, when The Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall album fell into my lap. While I was fully immersed in that golden age of college rock ... before it metastasized into grunge and alternative ... I simply couldn't deny the old-school country-rock appeal of The Jayhawks. With the high, lonesome harmonies that recalled Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers and a deceptively crunchy guitar sound akin to their labelmates, The Black Crowes, this album proved crucial for me. I didn't know it then, but it was about to launch me headlong into the alt.country scare of the mid-'90s. If country-rock holds even the slightest appeal for you, Hollywood Town Hall and 1995's Tomorrow The Green Grass are absolutely essential.

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