||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
Gary Louris May 30, 2009
|Born||March 10, 1955|
|Origin||Toledo, Ohio, U.S.|
|Genres||Folk, Americana, alt-country|
|Associated acts||The Jayhawks
Gary Louris (born March 10, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter of alternative country and pop music. He was a founding member of the Minneapolis-based band the Jayhawks and their principal songwriter and vocalist after the departure of Mark Olson. Louris is often credited with the band's subsequent move from folk-country toward a more progressive, pop sound.
Gary Louris grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where he took piano lessons before becoming a guitarist as a teenager. He graduated from St. John's Jesuit High School in 1973.
1985–2005: The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks were formed in 1985 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Louris had formerly played guitar in a rockabilly band, Safety Last. On May 13, 2003, the Jayhawks appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and performed "Save It for a Rainy Day", from their "Rainy Day Music" CD. The Jayhawks recorded seven albums before going on indefinite hiatus in 2005.
In 2011 the Jayhawks reunited and recorded a new album, Mickingbird Time. The lineup consisted of Mark Olson, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O'Reagan. At that time Louris said, "Our goal is to make the best Jayhawks album that's ever been done". Eighteen songs were recorded, 16 of them new, but only 12 are included on the record. The band toured in support of the album.
2005–present: Solo career
Louris is also a member of the intermittent Midwest musical collective Golden Smog; other members have included fellow Jayhawk Marc Perlman, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum, Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run and Chris Mars of the Replacements.
In spring 2005, Louris and Olson toured together, billed as "From the Jayhawks: An Evening with Mark Olson & Gary Louris, Together Again."
He co-wrote the song "Jealous of the Moon" with Chris Thile in 2005, and it appeared on the Nickel Creek album Why Should the Fire Die?. Louris is also a songwriter on the 2006 Dixie Chicks album Taking the Long Way.
In 2008, Louris released his first solo album, Vagabonds. The album was produced by Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. Of Vagabonds, Louris said in an interview, “It wasn’t my intention to recapture the ’70s or anything, that’s just what comes out when I sing....Once we got the band together for the sessions, it actually reminded me of how the Jayhawks were when we started out. The music is new and exciting for them, and it was good for me to feed off of that.”  Vagabonds was recorded in Laurel Canyon, which is famous for being the center of the 1970s' singer-songwriter scene.
Robinson also produced a collaboration between Louris and his former Jayhawks bandmate Mark Olson. The album, Ready for the Flood, was released in November 2008 (January 2009 in the U.S.).
On touring, Louris said, "Personally I'm not that into touring anymore. I found that I'm not in a band for that. The type of musician I am I'm not somebody that ad libs and creates. I'm more a recreator who when I tour I tend to recreate parts that I've written so touring and playing live is fun to me to a point." 
A 1967 Gibson SG guitar – shown in the picture – reputed to have been formerly owned by lead guitarist John King of the Litter is now owned and frequently used by Louris in the Jayhawks and Golden Smog. The guitar was owned from 1977 to 1986 by Kevin Waddick. Chris Osgood, at the time the guitarist of the punk trio the Suicide Commandos, suggested that Waddick buy the guitar and later informed Louris that it was for sale.
Louris also uses a Martin 00-18V acoustic guitar.
With the Jayhawks
- The Jayhawks (1986), also known as the Bunkhouse Tapes
- Blue Earth (1989)
- Hollywood Town Hall (1992)
- Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995)
- Sound of Lies (1997)
- Smile (2000)
- Rainy Day Music (2003)
- Live from the Women's Club (Volumes One and Two)
- Mockingbird Time (2011)
With Safety Last
With Golden Smog
- On Golden Smog (1992)
- Down by the Old Mainstream (1996)
- Weird Tales (1998)
- Another Fine Day (2006)
- Blood on the Slacks (2007)
With Mark Olson
- Ready for the Flood (2008)
- Hasty, Katie. "Nickel Creek 'Fires' Up For New Album". Billboard. June 9, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2005.
- Minnesota Public Radio, Mary Lucia, June 2, 2006, Gary Louris and Wordplay Accessed June 20, 2008.
- Wordplay movie official website. Accessed June 20, 2008.
- Boston Herald, April 1, 2008, Gary Louris: Meandering To The Morning Accessed June 20, 2008.
- JamBase Interview, Gary Louris: Meandering To The Morning Accessed June 20, 2008.
- Official website
- Official MySpace page
- Interview and live performance on TV Show Corporate Country Sucks
- The Heart of the Jayhawks. Paste Magazine. Accessed January 3, 2009.
- American Songwriter article
- Metro Active article
- Live Daily article