Son Volt is an alternative country group formed by Jay Farrar in 1994 after the breakup of the band Uncle Tupelo.
The group formed after Farrar met Jim and Dave Boquist during the final Uncle Tupelo tour. Together with former Uncle Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn, the band rehearsed and recorded in the Minneapolis area in late 1994. The group performed its first concert at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on June 16, 1995. While half of the band was rooted in the Minneapolis area, Farrar and Heidorn lived in the St. Louis area, and the band used both cities as bases for its operations during the first couple of years.
Son Volt's first album, Trace, met with critical acclaim and topped many "best-of" lists in 1995, despite not being a large commercial success. Two follow-up albums (1997's Straightaways and 1998's Wide Swing Tremolo) continued in the same vein. A Retrospective: 1995-2000, released in 2005, gathered highlights from this era, along with previously unreleased recordings.
Hiatus and return
Jay Farrar announced a hiatus from Son Volt after their 1999 tour. Beginning in 2001, Jay Farrar released several solo efforts that postponed further releases from Son Volt. Farrar reformed with the original members of Son Volt to record a song for a tribute album for Alejandro Escovedo. The sessions reportedly went so well that Farrar and the other band members intended to record once again in the autumn of 2004. Just prior to the sessions, however, Farrar and the other band members abruptly ended negotiations. Farrar formed a new version of the band with a different line-up and released an album on Transmit Sound/Sony Legacy, Okemah and the Melody of Riot, in 2005. 2006 saw the release of a live CD and DVD called Six String Belief. In 2007 the band released a studio album called The Search. American Central Dust followed, released by Rounder Records on July 7, 2009. A new album, Honky Tonk, was released March 5, 2013 by Rounder Records. A large scale tour is following the release of the album.
Son Volt's music ranges from quiet folk/country ballads reminiscent of Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding, to barhouse rockers in the spirit of Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Often considered a staple band of the alternative country movement, their music is perhaps better described as genre-spanning traditional American music.
- Jay Farrar (guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals), formerly of Uncle Tupelo
- Dave Bryson (drums)
- Andrew Duplantis (bass guitar, backing vocals)
- Mark Spencer (keyboards, steel guitar), formerly of Blood Oranges
- Gary Hunt (Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle)
The new Son Volt line-up began touring February 22, 2013, in support of their new album Honky Tonk.
- Mike Heidorn (drums), formerly of Uncle Tupelo (Original member of Son Volt)
- Dave Boquist (banjo, fiddle, guitar, lap steel) (Original member of Son Volt)
- Jim Boquist (bass guitar, backing vocals) (Original member of Son Volt)
- Eric Heywood (mandolin, pedal steel)
- Brad Rice (guitar, Okemah & The Melody Of Riot, The Search)
- Derry deBorja (keyboards, The Search)
- Chris Masterson (guitar, American Central Dust)
- James Walbourne (touring guitarist)
- Chris Frame (touring guitarist)
- Trace (1995), Warner Bros. Records No. 166 (US)
- Straightaways (1997), Warner Bros. Records No. 44 (US)
- Wide Swing Tremolo (1998), Warner Bros. Records No. 93 (US)
- A Retrospective: 1995-2000 (2005), Warner Bros. Records/Rhino
- Okemah and the Melody of Riot (2005), Transmit Sounds Records/Legacy Recordings No. 89 (US)
- The Search (March 2007), Transmit Sounds Records/Legacy Recordings No. 81 (US)
- American Central Dust (July 2009), Rounder Records No. 44 (US)
- Honky Tonk (March 5 2013), Rounder Records No. 67 (US)
- Glorious Noise
- NPR.org. . Retrieved Nov. 7, 2007.
- See the band's .
- at The Wheel's Still In Spin
- Features and CD reviews of