Son Volt goes honky tonk
Thursday, January 31, 2013
– Son Volt will release "Honky Tonk," the follow-up to 2009's "American Central Dust" on March 5 on Rounder.
The album features 11 new Son Volt songs that are inspired by the classic honky tonk sound of Bakersfield. Bandleader Jay Farrar said, "Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road."
"I wanted these songs to sound more contemporary and modern. There was no strict adherence to methodology of the past. You never want to be a nostalgia act," Farrar said.
On the new disc, Son Volt adopts a more acoustic-based sound. Many of its compositions mine a thematic lyrical vein inspired by a traditional country music aesthetic, which Farrar first explored on "American Central Dust."
"I was always averse to using certain words in songs, including 'love' and 'heart,'" he said. "But I started using them on 'American Central Dust,' and now I guess the floodgates have opened."
Farrar said his decision to learn a new instrument inspired an intense exploration of honky tonk music: "In the time between Son Volt records, I started learning pedal steel guitar. I play with a local band in St. Louis now and then called Colonel Ford. So I was immersed in honky tonk music, the Bakersfield sound, in particular. And it was almost second nature when I started writing the songs for this record."
Songs on the CD are:
1. Hearts and Minds
2. Brick Walls
3. Wild Side
4. Down the Highway
6. Livin' On
7. Tears of Change
8. Angel of the Blues
11. Shine On
Tour dates are:
April 10 - Mercy Lounge - Nashville, TN
April 11 - The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
April 12 - Terminal West - Atlanta, GA
April 13 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
April 14 - Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN
April 16 - WorkPlay Theatre - Birmingham, AL
April 17 - The Parish - New Orleans, LA
April 18 - Continental Club - Houston, TX
April 19 - Old Settler's Music Festival - Austin, TX
April 20 - Sons of Herman Hall - Dallas, TX
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Jay Farrar and his band Son Volt likely never set out to reinvent country music, but after rising from the ashes of the renegade roots outfit Uncle Tupelo, it was inevitable that they'd put a modern spin on the traditional sounds they were attempting to emulate. Yet, while former band mate Jeff Tweedy took his spin-off, Wilco, into wholly unlikely and strangely twisted directions, Farrar and company more or less kept their eye on the heartland and crafted songs more becoming of their Americana origins. »»»
American Central Dust
Jay Farrar's lyrical beauty takes center-stage in these dozen thought-provoking tracks. Once again, the songslinger delves into his America - past, present and future - to offer musings on the state of the world. Like a historian, Farrar paints pictures of important epochs and events in the past to understand the current climate.
Sultana is the perfect example where Farrar brings to light the greatest maritime disaster in American history - the explosion of the steamboat Sultana where an »»»
Every band that loosely adheres to conventional pop songwriting tactics struggles to remain above the teeming trenches of luke-warm typicality. For Son Volt, despite the fact that the majority of their songs are easily accessible and played in a relatively commonplace vein, character, conviction and aptitude keep them levitating well above their peers. On their latest, the band branches outward from their alt.-country roots and into territory that borders on pop-centric indie rock and southern »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
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