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Son Volt

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Following the death of Uncle Tupelo and the subsequent birth of Wilco and Son Volt, the crux of Uncle Tupelo’s fans initially gravitated toward the latter band if only because Jay Farrar’s stoic songwriting and familiar drawl were at the forefront of this project as well. Right off the bat, Son Volt’s 1995 debut album Trace sounds much more like the continuation of the seminal alt-country trio than does Wilco’s 1995 debut A.M. The opening hayseed ballad “Windfall” hints at a more refined direction rooted in traditional Americana song craft, but then the gritty and distorted twang of “Live Free” picks up right where Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne left off. “Drown” was somewhat of a college radio hit as it hinged on juxtaposing twang-rock with loud and crunchy guitars indicative of the grunge era over a hearty rhythm section that dynamically utilized a cowbell ten years before Will Farrell and Christopher Walken lampooned the instrument in the legendary Blue Öyster Cult skit for Saturday Night Live. Ronnie Wood’s “Mystifies Me” is the only cover here and in its stripped down elegance it is a perfect way to bookend Trace.

Customer Reviews

A Classic!

This is Son Volt's debut CD and Jay Farrar's first release post-Uncle Tupelo. Lyrically and melodically exciting, Jay has come close but not quite surpassed the utter brilliance of this album. It's one of those right time, right place situations. If this album hadn't have been so good Wilco might not have tried to counter it with Being There. But it's unfair to bring them into this. This CD is a cornerstone of the genre of whatever you wanna call it. This record contains some of the most timeless songs ever written. I'd love to see Jay collaborate with someone like John Prine or Louden Wainwright...I can't imagine it but I'd love to see it.

Happy to be handed down the liking of this music

I am 32 years old now. When my brother first heard this cd, he played it a few times around me, then I bought the cd myself and it was one of those cds that I could just start it and not get up or point a remote at the cd player b/c the whole disc is/was enjoyable. Not too many songs are better on the open road to listen to than Windfall.

Enduringly beautiful

A perfect follow-up to Uncle Tupelo's "Anodyne", as if McCartney had released "Band on the Run" right after the Beatles' "Abbey Road." Not to say the albums have anything much in common. Trace has some of Farrar's best songwriting ever, and certainly the best collection of songs he would put together until "Sebastopol"... And with the Boquist brothers, the sound does not miss a beat from Anodyne's more accomplished and spacious Americana. This album is a classic in my book.


Formed: 1994 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

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

After touring in support of their 1993 masterpiece, Anodyne, the seminal alternative country band Uncle Tupelo split up over long-simmering creative differences between co-leaders Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy recruited much of the band to form Wilco, while Farrar teamed up with original Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn to form Son Volt, the more tradition-minded of the two Tupelo offshoots. Joined by brothers Jim (bass) and Dave Boquist (guitar, fiddle, banjo, fiddle, steel guitar), the band signed...
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Trace, Son Volt
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Customer Ratings