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: For McCoury, Grisman, music still matters
One condenser microphone, a music stand, a mandolin, rhythm guitar and more than 100 years of bluegrass experience: that's all David Grisman and Del McCoury need to put on a show.
It's quite a show, too. The artists' backstories are well known: McCoury was a logger in Lancaster County, Pa., who came to New York City to see Bill... »»»
Concert Review: Ely wears well
Joe Ely is the prototypical rambler. It comes through in his music and in his life. There are lots of elements in the music about travels, riding the rails, small town scenery and getting away from it.
In fact, after playing "I'm Gonna Strangle You Shorty" as the first song of his encore, Ely opined, "The only thing I got out of... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Since the inception of the Bottle Rockets in the early '90s. the three basic constants have been the presence of guitarist/vocalist/primary songwriter Brian Henneman and drummer Mark Ortmann, a relatively consistent output schedule and a steady stream of great reviews for those releases.... »»»
On the eve of the first new release by the Cox Family in nearly two decades, "Gone Like The Cotton," Sidney Cox reflects on the national media frenzy over "Back To The Future" and the date Michael J. Fox would materialize from 1985, and the parallels to his own family's story haven't escaped his notice.... »»»
The Statler Brothers were an iconic vocal group in country music. They began by backing Johnny Cash (not a bad early gig, for sure), and went on to win the CMA award for Vocal Group of the Year an astounding 8 years in a row between 1972 and 1980. The group is in both the country music and gospel music halls of fame and has won three Grammy Awards. Tenor Jimmy Fortune replaced Lew Dewitt in 1983, and continued with the group for 21 year... »»»
First Comes the NIght
Chris Isaak is something of a renaissance man. In addition to being a talented singer and songwriter, he's an actor, guest-starring in popular television shows like "Friends" and "Hot in Cleveland"; he even had his own series on Showtime in the early 2000's. He's been in movies with Michelle Pfieffer, Jodie Foster and Tom Hanks. »»»
I'm Comin' Over
Chris Young has enjoyed steady success from his previous four releases, and there's no reason to suggest that "I'm Comin' Over" won't do the same. But that doesn't mean that Young is doing anything all that different from what's au courant. Young's go to has always been his full-sounding, big-bodied voice, and that remains intact here throughout these 11 songs, 9 of which he had a hand in writing. »»»
Meat and Candy
Old Dominion may be releasing its full-length debut, but this quintet is not filled with newbies. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey co-wrote "Chainsaw" for The Band Perry and with band mate Trevor Rosen penned Craig Morgan's "Wake Up Lovin' You" and Dierks Bentley's "Say You Do." Rosen also co-wrote Chris Young's "Neon," Blake Shelton's "Sangria" and The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two"... »»»
When listeners were introduced to Eric Church on his debut, they heard an artist who could balance strong song writing with a bit of a rebellious edge to the music. The surprise release of his latest continues that tradition, being quietly released to his fan club before even being officially announced. The music, written and recorded over a short period of time with an unheard of fast turnaround, has a raw edge that bridges the gap... »»»
Buy Me A Boat
After years of toiling in the trenches in Nashville, Chris Janson had faced his share of hardships and rejections. He'd worked with an impressive roster of artists (Tim McGraw, Justin Moore, Lee Brice), but failed to score any significant attention as an artist himself. Then he followed his wife's advice and self-released a single, "Buy Me a Boat," which became a surprise radio hit. After years of playing country, Janson finally became an "overnight sensation"... »»»