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
More news for Son Volt
CD reviews for Son Volt
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
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Steve Earle doesn't rest (on laurels)
If you didn't realize Steve Earle had a new disc out, "The Low Highway," it would have been no problem realizing that quite and quickly.
That was because Earle started the two-hour show with three straight tracks from "The Low Highway," and he would not be done for the night. The title track of was a midtempo effort... »»»
Concert Review: The Howlin' Brothers leave the radar behind
The Howlin' Brothers - this trio, in reality, contains no brothers - are about eight years into their career and on their fifth album. To say they've been under the radar screen may be an understatement. You couldn't even say they've been flying under that screen because they have stuck very close to their Nashville environs.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Some folks listening to Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison's new duet album, "Cheaters Game," may well exclaim, 'Well, it's about time!' after finally hearing these two talented country singer/songwriters recording music as a pair for the first time. Willis has built quite a following for her independently-minded feminine perspective, while Robison has written hits for the Dixie Chicks (Travelin' Soldier
) and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Angry All the Time
), as well as penning the ultimate Willie Nelson tribute, What Would Willie Do?
and recording it as a solo act.
Last fall, singer/songwriter Steve Forbert dropped the 14th studio album of his 35-year career, the impeccable "Over With You." Critics recognized the album as a return to the form Forbert displayed on his earliest works - 1978's stripped back and personal "Alive on Arrival" and 1979's more lushly produced and commercially accessible "Jackrabbit Slim" - but the fact is that Forbert has never strayed far from their basic folk/rock tenets.... »»»
Over the course of the past 20 years or so, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller have both experienced a certain rise in their respective rootsy country profiles. Miller has become one of Nashville's hottest speed dial numbers, as an artist, a guitarist-for-hire (a role he has performed for Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Robert Plant, among others) and an intuitive producer (he's currently working with Executive Music Producer T Bone Burnett to provide the soundtrack for ABC's "Nashville" television series).... »»»
"Wilderness" is another twisted menagerie of The Handsome Family songs. Once again, husband Brett Sparks sings their songs, sometimes in a bellowing gravedigger voice, after adding music to wife Rennie's lyrics. This time out, each and every tune is named after an animal, insect or other such nature creature. However, Rennie studies animals the way Flannery O'Connor wrote about humans, which is with the weirdness and character flaws in primary focus. »»»
Love Is Everything
George Strait may have reached his seventh decade, but he shows zero signs of slowing down. In fact, Strait seems to be getting even more consistent as he gets older. Strait doesn't stray all that far from the formula that has resulted in superstar status. First and foremost, that means his sonorous voice is mixed far above the music, a very good thing. »»»
Dark Dirty Mile
Jason Boland and the Stragglers have released a new country album that sounds old. This isn't to imply that the sound is aged in a negative way; they have a classic country maturity that isn't heard too much these days with the exception of Jamey Johnson. For those not familiar with the music of Boland, the first track is a great way to decide whether this is your kind of country music. The title track is a mid tempo country song reminiscent of the late Waylon Jennings. »»»
Lady Antebellum probably needed a change in direction after "Own the Night" dropped in 2011. The material was overly geared towards taking dead aim at the radio jugular. That isn't the case this time out on the trio's fifth release because most of the songs veer away from being obviously radio fodder (except for the current singleDowntown
with its soulful beginning and strong vocals from Hillary Scott), but that also doesn't man that this was the right change. »»»