When the Jayhawks decided to call it quits in 2004, few expected drummer Tim O’Reagan to emerge as a formidable solo artist.
But his self-titled debut album has been winning rave reviews since it came out in late June, and O’Reagan — who wrote several song for the Jayhawks — is pleased he can shine in front of the drum kit, too.
“People don’t have any reason to see me in any other way than the drummer,” says O’Reagan, a Kansas native who released an album with a band called the Leatherwoods before moving to Minneapolis to join the Jayhawks in the mid-’90s.
“It’s good to be appreciated at a more complete level. I’ve known for awhile I can write songs and I’ve always had a lot of musical ideas beyond drumming. So it feels pretty good right now to get the good press and the compliments and everything.”
O’Reagan also gets a little help from his friends on “Tim O’Reagan.” Jayhawks bandmates
Gary Louris, Mark Olson, Marc Perlman and Karen Grotberg all appear on the album, as does Son Volt bassist Jim Boquist, who’s also in O’Reagan’s touring band.
The most special guests, however, may be his mother and father, who play violin and whistle, respectively.
“Isn’t that cool?” he says. “The recording rig I have is really mobile, and I was going down to visit my folks in Kansas so I decided to bring it down there and record them in the family room.
“I think they got a kick out of it, which was the main reason I wanted to do it. But I only got an hour each out of them. They were willing to do it, but not if it got too tedious. They had something better to do, I guess.”
Tim O’Reagan and Greg Laswell perform Sunday (August 13th) at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover is $10. Call (734) 996-8555 or visit
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