It's not often that a drummer releases a solo album. Sure, Don Henley and Phil Collins have had several chart-topping records by themselves, but they also led their respective bands. Most drummers (like bass players) are there to shut up and lay down the backbeat.

On his self-titled debut solo CD, Jayhawks drummer Tim O'Reagan hopes to change that. "We're usually relegated to sideman status and rarely offered the possibility to write songs," he says. "We usually have to fight to get songs on a record."

Tim O'Reagan sounds a bit like a Jayhawks album, in part because several members of the veteran alt-country band make appearances. But it's also because O'Reagan can't quite shake the folksy roots rock he's been playing for more than 20 years. "Music's like a big net," he says. "You catch it all, but you pick out the good stuff."

O'Reagan joined the Jayhawks in 1996, but the group is presently on hiatus, which gave him the chance to finish a batch of songs he started working on years ago. "I couldn't figure out what kind of record I wanted to make," he says. "I didn't want to put out something shitty. I had the equipment, and I had the time. Hell, I had to do something."

Aside from the occasional guest spot, most of the album is performed by O'Reagan himself, who sings and plays guitars, keyboards, and, yes, drums. "I did a lot of stumbling," he says. "I was figuring things out on my own. Plus, I didn't have money, so I couldn't pay people for their time. Once the record started taking shape and direction, I had a really good time doing it. It should be easier next time."
Sat., Aug. 12, 8:30 p.m.

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