Tim O'Reagan | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Tim O'Reagan 

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Though Tim O'Reagan's self-titled solo debut on Lost Highway has a few psych-lite touches (think Donovan or the Rubber Soul-era Beatles), its ambling melodies and Americana twang have the warm burnish of his old band, the Jayhawks. In fact, you could use the album to argue that the Jayhawks made poor use of him--he was mostly just their drummer, only occasionally helping out with songwriting, but his tunes hold their own against Gary Louris's. His voice is a little nasal and reedy, but a couple of his bandmates join in on harmonies, and the songs are loaded with instrumental touches--piano, pedal steel, harmonica, whistling--that recall George Harrison's All Things Must Pass in their range. The disc has a loping, pastoral, Minnesota-prairie pace, and for all its lushness, its heart-swollen sentiment and frayed edges make it easy to imagine O'Reagan writing these songs after a few beers on the porch with his friends. Greg Laswell opens. Thu 8/10, 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $12.

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