The Jayhawks are an American rock band, sometimes described as Alt-country, or more often today, Americana. They released six studio albums on the American Recordings label. As of mid-2005 they are both rumored to have disbanded, and not to have.
The band formed in 1985 in Minnesota with Mark Olson (acoustic guitar and vocals), Gary Louris (electric guitar and vocals), Marc Perlman (bass) and Thad Spencer (drums). They released a self-titled album in 1986 on Bunkhouse Records. Their music at the time, written by Olson, showed a strong roots/country-rock influence. The band worked for the next year on demo tapes in search of a major label recording contract. Those demos eventually were brought together to form the more popular Blue Earth in 1987 released on the Minneapolis label Twin Tone. In this release Gary Louris shared more of the songwriting with Olson. The band soon toured the U.S. in support of Blue Earth. Thad decided to leave the band due to commitments at home with his business and he was replaced by Ken Callahan on drums in 1987 and stayed with the band until 1993, being forced out after the HHT session.