Mark Olson & Gary Louris

Friday

SXSW Records

Mark Olson & Gary Louris

Ready for the Flood (New West)

For Jayhawks die-hards, the simple fact that Mark Olson and Gary Louris are making music together again is nothing short of ecstatic. Ready for the Flood, their first studio collaboration in nearly 15 years, may generate a little less enthusiasm. The duo's harmonies remain sublime, but of the 15 new tunes they've composed, only a few regenerate the jovial Jayhawks buzz. While there was always a folk side to the Minneapolis institution, and here the focus is certainly sprite and endearing at times, over 50 minutes it grows listless. "Chamberlain, SD" comes the closest to a straight-up alt.country rocker, and the California shimmer of "My Gospel Song for You" is stunning. Production by the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson is unobtrusive to the point of being almost nonexistent, but peeking in on two guys sitting around Joshua Tree with a couple of guitars should be a little more engaging. (Wed., Victorian Room at the Driskill, 12:30am; Fri., Momo's, 12mid.)

**

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