Mark Olson & Gary Louris, ‘Ready for the Flood’ (New West)
Though this duo have recorded and toured together since Olson quit the Jayhawks in 1995, Ready for the Flood is their official reunion album, and it’s pure rootsy, rustic alt country. Harmonies are raw and unpredictable in the Bob Dylan tradition, with the pair often sounding as if they’re singing at each other. And while the rock workouts never transcend their bar-band tropes, on the ballads (“Turn Your Pretty Name Around,” “Black Eyes”), Olson & Louris evince real sorrow and regret with little more than a carefully picked acousticguitar and ghostly organ tracing the tracks of their tears.
Listen: Gary Louris & Mark Olson, “Turn Your Pretty Name Around”