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Editors’ Notes

Along with fellow Midwesterners the Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo ushered in a new era of roots music known variously as Americana, insurgent country, and alt-country. Inspired by the country rock of Gram Parsons, the Byrds, and Texas outlaw country troubadours such as Townes Van Zandt, Uncle Tupelo featured the whiskey-soaked melancholy of Jay Farrar and the lighter tone of Jeff Tweedy. Anodyne, their last and best album, starts solemnly with Farrar's achingly gorgeous minor-key "Slate" and ends with his similarly solemn "Steal the Crumbs." Nestled between are loping campfire tunes such as "New Madrid" and the breezy "Acuff Rose," plus the rockers "We've Been Had" and "Chickamauga." Tweedy later formed Wilco, and Farrar Son Volt, but the sweet push and pull of their different styles was never more beautiful than when they played together in Uncle Tupelo.


Formed: 1987 in Belleville, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

With the release of their 1990 debut LP, No Depression, the Belleville, IL, trio Uncle Tupelo launched more than simply their own career -- by fusing the simplicity and honesty of country music with the bracing fury of punk, they kick-started a revolution which reverberated throughout the American underground. Thanks to a successful online site and subsequent fanzine which adopted the album's name, the tag "No Depression" became a catch-all for the like-minded artists who, along with Tupelo, signalled...
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