Gary Louris and Mark Olson left Jayhawks fans in a lurch when they parted ways rather abruptly in 1995. Turns out Olson had tired of all the obligations and trappings that came with the Minneapolis-spawned group’s hard-won success. So he escaped to the Mojave Desert to ply a rootsier, salt-of-the-earth trade with the help of wife Victoria Williams. Ah, but time—and perhaps a little fiscal motivation—has a way of smoothing over the rough patches in many productive creative partnerships. (Unless you’re Bob Mould and Grant Hart.) And 15 years later, the Jayhawks have returned to us more-or-less fully intact. For how long, no one really knows, but they just did a string of shows to back the enhanced reissues of 1992’s Hollywood Town Hall and 1995’s Tomorrow The Green Grass (American/Legacy). With their sugary (if unrefined) harmonies, rugged intelligence and casual accessibility, the albums are to the alt-country movement what One Of These Nights and Hotel California were to ’70s SoCal country rock—even if the comparably modest sales figures may not indicate as much. Louris and Olson will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with Louris.
Olson: In Larvik, Norway, lives Eric Ringvold. He is the father of Ingunn, who I have performed with in Europe the past four years. He grew up in Ethiopia and is the best cook that I have ever met. I have been to East African restaurants on the road before, but I have never tasted anything as delicious as his Ethiopian cooking, before or since. I now have big plastic bags full of the spices mekelesha and berbere that he gave me. I also have the dried sourdough injera bread starter. I know how to use the spices now and go through a lot of the stuff during my times at home, but the injera takes time to accomplish, and I need to work on that some more. And now for Erik’s greatist culinary feat of all time: lutefisk. He cooks it; it’s incredible, but the work involved to make it edible is too complex for the novice to try.
Video after the jump.