Gary Louris, Vagabonds

Label: Rykodisc

It’s hard to believe that this is Gary Louris’s first solo album, so long has he been a country-rock cornerstone of The Jayhawks and “alt.indie supergroup” Golden Smog.

But it’s been worth the wait, its 10 songs as good as any he’s written, and the production – by Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson – perfectly measured to fit the overall theme of searching.

There’s the careworn but proud resignation of songs like “We’ll Get By” and the troubadour tribute “Vagabonds”, while the massed backing vocals of the Laurel Canyon Family Choir (ie, Gary’s Hollywood chums) bring a suitably roseate glow to “She Only Calls Me On Sundays”.

Intimate and intelligent, it’s the modern equivalent of ex-Byrd Gene Clark’s acclaimed solo works.

For a sample track from Vagabonds just click on the link below:

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