Tim O’Reagan

I used to live in Minneapolis, and the JayHawks’ music is famous there.  Tim O’Reagan was drummer for the band, and wrote great songs, but you didn’t get to hear him sing much.  He has now recorded a self-named album, on Lost Highway Records, same label as Willie, and it’s beautiful.  He writes great songs, has a beautiful voice, and plays most of the instruments on the album.  Here’s a nice blurb about his music and album:

“His album is for example, extraordinarily musical, beginning with the first track. “These Things” sets an immediate mood, with an accordion – not a zydeco blast but a French musette that might have been sampled in some Left Bank café. The rhythm sets in, ambling and strolling, with someone whistling absently in the background behind the lyrics, “I’m looking still” If you weren’t paying attention enough to notice the dark cast of the rest of the words, you’d think this was a lover’s wistful reverie.

Some of that has to do with O’Reagan’s singing. His style is conversational, understated, and richly emotional. It’s not hard to discern his influences, but in the end his voice is like none other. It is, in fact, a classic rock vehicle, harking back to Dylan, Lennon, even soul music of sixties vintage: melodic, aggressive when it needs to be, maybe a little sly and ironic, often haunting, ultimately unforgettable.

Then there are the songs. Think of them as prairie Americana, sweetened with a psychedelic sprinkle and treated now and then to a European vacation. Tendrils of melody weave through verses and explode in the choruses. They’re sharp too, many of them wrapping around hooks that aim for your ear and dig into your memory. Just check out “River Bends” and you’ll know what we mean: That line, “goodnight, desire,” would have sounded perfect coming through your AM radio on some steamy summer night back in the 70’s.”

Here’s his tour schedule; check him out if you can.

10/10-10/28 with Mojave 3
10/11 – Chicago at the Park West
10/12 – Madison at High Noon Saloon
10/13 – Indianapolis at Radio Radio
10/14 – Detroit at the Magic Stick
10/16 – Toronto at the Mod Club
10/17 – Montreal at the Cabaret
10/19 – Boston at the Paradise
10/20 – NYC at the Bowery
10/21 – NYC at the Bowery
10/24 – DC at the Black Cat
10/25 – Carrboro at the Cat’s Cradle
10/16 – Asheville at the Grey Eagle
10/27 – Atlanta at the Earl
10/28 – Nashville at the Belcourt Theater

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