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: Long wait ends for Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
When you don't show for almost six years - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are guilty as charged - and barely release any music unless counting one excellent disc out in late March on a British label and something almost unheard in the states in 2011, don't expect the masses to show up either.
Predictably, that didn't happen for the family band... »»»
Concert Review: Mellencamp overcomes conundrum
John Mellencamp faces the predicament that artists of his stature must face as they age. Now 63 and still putting out new, quality albums, Mellencamp presumably wants to push his new highly relevant music, while the faithful, long-time supporters thrive on the old stuff.
How do you rectify the two? Mellencamp tended to have it both ways before a... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
A great deal has transpired in the 10 years between Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson connecting at North Carolina's Black Banjo Gathering and the release of Giddens' brilliant debut solo album, "Tomorrow is My Turn." Giddens and Flemons formed the very successful Sankofa Springs. Robinson met and was mentored by black string band legend Joe Thompson, and ultimately, Giddens, Flemons and Robinson formed the bluegrass/folk/blues powerhouse, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
A couple of years ago, while discussing various musical poet-heroes, singer-songwriter Hayes Carll mused that "in a perfect world, Ray Wylie Hubbard would be winning Grammys." With the release of his latest offering, "The Ruffian's Misfortune," a follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed, "The Grifter's Hymnal," now might just be the time that Carll was talking about.... »»»
Young bluegrass artist Nathan Stanley doesn't fall far from the branches of the family tree; he honors the legacy of his grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, by delivering straight ahead traditional bluegrass music, interpreting old classics that have shaped him and his music. At the same time, young Stanley is an original, refusing to sing the old songs in the ways they've been performed before. "If it's been done," he says, "I don't think I'll do it that way."... »»»
Second Hand Heart
Dwight Yoakam appears to be a many of mystery on the cover. With two side-by-side images of himself, the Kentucky honky tonker dons a trademark cowboy hat, jeans jacket and jacket and plucking his electric, legs spread and head pointed down. But there really is no mystery about Yoakam, who has been making music longer than some of the contemporary country acts have been alive. »»»
It's been five years since her last album - 2010's "All the Women That I Am" - but the Queen of Country Music's crown hasn't lost its luster. On her 27th album, Oklahoma native McEntire adds another jewel to her tiara with her new album that covers familiar territory: strong women, the heartbreak of breakup, the determination of a broken lover starting over and the destructive and healing power of love. »»»
Something in the Water
Whether Pokey LaFarge's seventh album, "Something in the Water," could be called more than "retro" is a stretch. The St. Louis musician's 21st century talent shows through his performance, compositions and writing, but some things work against him in his fight to make the album timeless. »»»
With a tragic stage collapse prior to a Sugarland show and a failed marriage in his rearview mirror, one might expect Kristian Bush's solo debut to be peppered with tales of regret and heartbreak. Yet "Southern Gravity" is surprisingly anything but for the other half of Sugarland, offering up a solid dose of positive vibes, heartfelt love and strong mainstream country appeal. »»»
Somewhere Down the Road
If anyone's waiting for Billy Bob Thornton to grow out of his music phase, some pertinent facts are in order, namely, a) he's done four solo albums to date, b) the Boxmasters, his band since 2007, are now on their fourth album, "Somewhere Down the Road," but with three double discs, it's actually seven, »»»