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For more than 30 years, THE JAYHAWKS “have crafted widescreen power-pop with country-western affectations, summoning an easygoing romanticism and a skyward sound that makes even their sad songs seem happy.” (Portland Press Herald) They had a tremendous influence on the rise of alternative-country in Midwest, foreshadowing and inspiring such bands as Uncle Tupelo and the Gear Daddies. And they haven’t shied from moving swiftly through stylistic phases, from the synthy rock of Smile (2000) to the playfully experimental Brit-pop of Paging Mr. Proust (2016). Their latest collection is a collaboration with none other than Ray Davies, a like-minded rock music devotee and craftsmen.
The sublime harmonies of North Carolina’s MANDOLIN ORANGE, who “approach traditional roots music from a fresh, modern perspective,” (Rolling Stone) guide us into the evening. With three albums since signing with Yep Roc in 2013, the co-ed duo has become a bastion of tightly woven Americana on the festival circuit. And to round out a perfect Saturday at the Bandshell we have Western Mass quintet PARSONSFIELD, a raucous, foot-stomping group who specialize in big choruses and move through different modes of contemporary roots music.