Son Volt In Concert

Son Volt 300 i i
Son Volt 300

Son Volt makes socially-conscious, bittersweet folk-rock tunes steeped in Americana and lyrical poetry. The band’s music draws heavily on the spirit of artists like Woody Guthrie and Gram Parsons, with an easy blend of unadorned, traditional country and rock, though Son Volt’s music is decidedly more glum and brooding.

The band brought a mix of new songs and old favorites to Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club for a marathon, two-hour concert Oct. 21, 2005. The full performance was originally webcast live on NPR.org as part of NPR Music's ongoing concert series from All Songs Considered.

Son Volt formed in 1993 from the ashes of seminal alternative-country band Uncle Tupelo. When Uncle Tupelo broke up, singer-songwriter Jay Farrar formed Son Volt while fellow bandmate Jeff Tweedy formed Wilco. Son Volt’s 1995 debut CD, Trace is still considered one of the most indispensable folk-rock albums. Son Volt’s two subsequent CDs, Straightaways in 1997 and Wide Swing Tremelo in 1998, weren’t received as well. The band went on an unofficial hiatus but returned earlier this year with Okemah and the Melody of Riot, their first new work in seven years. Critics are calling the new album Son Volt’s best CD since their debut ten years ago.

Okemah and the Melody of Riot is louder and more political than Son Volt’s earlier albums, with plenty of pedal steel, electric guitar, organ and dulcimer. The CD title is taken from Okemah, Okla., Woodie Guthrie’s birthplace.

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