Mockingbird Time

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Mockingbird Time
Studio album by The Jayhawks
Released September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20)
Recorded November 5–December 4, 2010 at The Terrarium Recording Studios, Minneapolis, MN
Genre Rock
Label Rounder/UMGD
Producer Gary Louris[1]
The Jayhawks chronology
Music from the North Country – The Jayhawks Anthology
(2009)Music from the North Country – The Jayhawks Anthology2009
Mockingbird Time
Live at The Belly Up
(2015)Live at The Belly Up2015

Mockingbird Time is the eighth studio album by the alt country band The Jayhawks, released on September 20, 2011. The album marked the returns of the original front man Mark Olson, who had left the group in 1995 after the release of Tomorrow the Green Grass, and long-time keyboard player Karen Grotberg. Mockingbird Time was the first new studio album by The Jayhawks since 2003's Rainy Day Music. The album entered the Billboard 200 album chart at #38, becoming the highest-charting release of their career to date. It also charted at #2 on Billboard's Folk Albums chart, #6 on the Tastemaker Albums chart, and #11 on the Rock Albums chart.


In late 1995, founding member Mark Olson abruptly left The Jayhawks, in order to spend more time with wife Victoria Williams.[2] With Gary Louris assuming principal singing and songwriting responsibilities, the band released three further albums—Sound of Lies in 1997, Smile in 1999, and Rainy Day Music in 2003—before recessing indefinitely.

Louris and Olson first began speaking to each other again in 2001, when they were requested to pen a track for the 2002 film The Rookie. In the group's time off, the two reunited as an acoustic duo,[3] touring, writing, and recording together sporadically from 2005 to 2009.[4] They released the acoustic album Ready for the Flood in 2009. According to Louris, the two were billed as "'Mark and Gary from the Jayhawks,' and people would always ask us, 'When is the band getting back together?'"[5] The two revived the Tomorrow the Green Grass-lineup of The Jayhawks, consisting of original bassist Marc Perlman, drummer Tim O'Reagan, and keyboardist Karen Grotberg, for two festival dates in Spain.[5] According to O'Reagan, playing together again for the first time in 14 years "was like riding a bike for all of us."[5] Afterwards the band began touring again.[4][6]

Both Olson and Louris later said that recording the album was a negative experience and Olson left the band once again after the tour promoting the album. Olson complained about money and the songwriting credits on the album and Louris called it "a fiasco [that] left a bad taste in my mouth."[7][8]


As the group's activity began increasing, Louris claimed he and Olson felt there was "some business left undone."[9] The members decided to record a new studio album, which Olson described as "a natural thing" to do.[10] Louris and Olson penned the songs for Mockingbird Time in Louris' apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Olson's residence in Joshua Tree, California, and Olson's sister's cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota.[5][9]

The album was recorded at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis with Gary Louris assuming role of producer.[5]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [12]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars [13]
Spin 7/10 stars [14]

In his review for Allmusic, critic Mark Deming praised the album and called it "easily the group's strongest and most cleanly focused album since their 1992 masterpiece Hollywood Town Hall." and "a simple but richly rewarding example of what the Jayhawks do better than anyone, and serves as a potent reminder that they're one of the finest American bands of their time."[12] Spin reviewer Nate Cavalieri wrote, "Ignore the mouth-breathing rock bangers, and Mockingbird is as comfortable as well-worn denim."[14]


The first single from the album, "She Walks In So Many Ways," was released on July 25, 2011.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gary Louris and Mark Olson.

No. Title Length
1. "Hide Your Colors" 4:00
2. "Closer To Your Side" 3:36
3. "Tiny Arrows" 5:52
4. "She Walks In So Many Ways" 2:38
5. "High Water Blues" 5:06
6. "Mockingbird Time" 5:08
7. "Stand Out In The Rain" 3:55
8. "Cinnamon Love" 3:54
9. "Guilder Annie" 3:41
10. "Black Eyed Susan" 5:25
11. "Pouring Rain At Dawn" 3:24
12. "Hey Mr. Man" 3:45

Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc One
No. Title Length
13. "Touch The Stars" 3:11
14. "Darkest Hour" 3:03
Disc Two: DVD
No. Title Length
1. "Mockingbird Time: A Documentary" (DVD)  
2. "'She Walks In So Many Ways': The Ocean Way Rehearsal Sessions" (DVD)  
3. "'Closer To Your Side': The Ocean Way Rehearsal Sessions" (DVD)  
4. "'Tiny Arrows': The Ocean Way Rehearsal Sessions" (DVD)  
5. "'King Of Kings': Never-before-seen performance from 1985" (DVD)  
iTunes bonus track
No. Title Length
1. "Will I Be Married" (iTunes bonus track)  


  1. ^ Justin Ng (22 July 2011). "The Jayhawks To Release First Album In 16 Years With Original Line-Up". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Rolling Stone Editors. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century. New York: Fireside, 2001.
  3. ^ Mary Houlihan (20 January 2011). "Jayhawks back in state of harmony". Sun-Times Media. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "The Jayhawks: History". Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Bud Scoppa. "The Jayhawks Mockingbird Time". Sacks & Co. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Exclusive: The Jayhawks Preview New LP: 'Mockingbird Time' Hits Stores This Fall". Rolling Stone. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Chris Riemenschneider (2015-08-29). "Exclusive: Jayhawks co-leaders in disharmony again". Minnesota Star Ledger. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  8. ^ Matthew Wardlaw (April 4, 2017). "In Advance of Music Box Concert, Jayhawks Frontman Gary Louris Talks About the Band's New Collaboration With Ray Davies". Scene. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Andy Greene (29 November 2010). "Exclusive: Classic Jayhawks Lineup Recording First LP In 15 Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Rob Williams (6 July 2011). "Just like old times for the Jayhawks". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Mockingbird Time by The Jayhawks". Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Mockiingbird Time > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  13. ^ Will Hermes (13 September 2011). "Mockingbird Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "The Jayhawks, 'Mockingbird Time' (Rounder) - SPIN". 20 September 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Rob Sleigh (10 July 2011). "The Jayhawks to Release New Album 'Mockingbird Time' in September". Retrieved 31 July 2011.