Gary Louris brought an alt. country all-star backing band to Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Friday night (part of a short solo tour). The show opened with Kraig Johnson, bandmate of Louris in Golden Smog (and briefly in the Jayhawks), and lead singer of Minneapolis band Run Westy Run. Johnson was joined by G. Whizz (Autumn Defense) on drums, and Jim Boquist (Son Volt) on guitar. A few songs into the set, he was joined by Joseph Arthur, who took over as lead for a couple of songs as well.
After a brief intermission, Gary Louris took the stage, notebook in hand. His set covered his solo work, as well as songs from the Golden Smog and Jayhawks catalogs. Dar Williams, who was a last minute announcement for the show was also a last minute cancellation, as her son was sick. Throughout the set, Louris was joined by a revolving combination of Johnson, Boquist, G. Whizz and Joseph Arthur. He sounded great, and the set list was terrific.
Featured songs included "Poor Little Fish" , "I'd Run Away" , "Blue", and he played an alternate take on the song "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" from Smile. The original title and chorus was "Someone Will". It was interesting to hear a different take on the song, and to hear it as it was originally written. The encore was perfect for any fan of the Jayhawks, and Golden Smog. "Waiting For the Sun", "Tailspin" and the closer, arguably one of the best songs from Golden Smog, "Until You Came Along". A perfect way to end an excellent show.
The Jayhawks are playing three shows at First Avenue in Minneapolis in June. The band lineup will include Mark Olson who left the band in 1995, Louris, Marc Perlman, Tim O'Reagan and Karen Grotberg. More pictures from LPR below...