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Sebastopol (Limited Edition)

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iTunes Review

While his two bands - Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt - virtually defined the alt-country aesthetic, Jay Farrar's solo work has been a sleepy, psychedelic trip through those same sandy plains. His lyrics remain elusive, and his guitars are often open-tuned. But where Farrar once seemed to be chasing the desolate ghost of a Texas songwriter like Townes Van Zandt, on his first official solo album he sounds like a psychedelic cowboy from Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo. His voice is sometimes distorted with the keyboards sonically manipulated. "Damaged Son" fritters away on a violin-synth, "Barstow" loiters with David Rawlings on lap steel. "Voodoo Candle," the album's single, kicks up with the distorted guitar-play giddy-up of Son Volt. At 17 tracks, however, Sebastapol is a dreamlike excursion meant to take several days.

Customer Reviews

Let it grow...

Yes, this is a dark and brooding record, but that's what makes Jay Farrar who he is. These 17 songs will all find a place to nest in your heart if you play them on a long midwestern drive. Lyrically, Farrar is his typical, scattered self; often times bleak and giving up all hope. Don't come looking for Son Volt outtakes. Jay strays a little out of his comfort zone with sitars and mellotron-sounding strings, but he doesn't get brave enough to give us any brain-sticking pop hooks. They are more like dull thuds in your head, and they feel like Jay.

Jay at his best

This is an extraordinary album: great melodies, great lyrics, just Jay stetching it out. Wish he'd do it more.

The Mastermind...

Sebastopol is by far... The best Jay Farrar album... Fav. songs = "Feel Free" and "Feed Kill Chain."


Born: December 26, 1966 in Belleville, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a founding member of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, songwriter Jay Farrar helped popularize the alt-country movement of the 1990s. He also launched a solo career during the following decade, making it plain that his musical ambitions stretched far beyond the retro-leaning twang of his contemporaries. Farrar was born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, a small town not far from the Illinois/Missouri border. He was 12 when he first began leaning to play the guitar, and in high school he made friends...
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