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SON VOLT — NOTES OF BLUE (Feb. 17, 2017)

SON VOLT — NOTES OF BLUE (February 17, 2017)

    SON VOLT — NOTES OF BLUE (February 17, 2017)  SON VOLT — NOTES OF BLUE (February 17, 2017)JF born: December 26, 1966, Belleville, Illinois, United States
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Album release: February 17, 2017
Record Label: Transmit Sound/Thirty Tigers
Duration:     30:34
Tracks:
01 Promise the World     3:20 
02 Back Against the Wall     3:28 
03 Static     2:30 
04 Cherokee St     2:59 
05 The Storm     2:39 
06 Lost Souls     2:17 
07 Midnight     3:07 
08 Sinking Down     3:29 
09 Cairo and Southern     4:40 
10 Threads and Steel     2:05
Credits:
•→     John Agnello Mixing, Production Assistant
•→     Kevin Belford Design, Illustrations
•→     Jacob Detering Assistant, Production Assistant
•→     Jacob Edwards Drums, Percussion
•→     Jay Farrar Composer, Guitar (Ac. + El.), Organ, Photography, Producer, Vocals
•→     Monica Farrar Cover Photo
•→     Gary Hunt Fiddle, Vocals (Background)
•→     Jason Kardong Pedal Steel
•→     David McClister Band Photo
•→     Sam Olhausen Assistant Engineer
•→     Brad Sarno Mastering
•→     Mark Spencer Bass, Piano, Vocals (Background), Weissenborn
Style: 
•→     His musical style ranges from sparse, unaccompanied folk music to full rock and roll band arrangements comparable to Neil Young or Dinosaur Jr.. His solo recordings also often include sound experiments, reminiscent of psychedelia, with a distinctly Eastern bent. One of the hallmarks of his sound is the use of alternate tunings on the guitar. His love for Woody Guthrie inspired a custom guitar made by Creston Lea of Vermont. The guitar was made from artifacts Jay gathered from the site of Guthrie’s childhood home. In 2012 the guitar was featured in a painting by modern artist Karl Haglund.
Review
STEPHEN THOMPSON, February 9, 201712:00 AM ET
•→     When Uncle Tupelo splintered into two bands back in 1994, both offshoots seemed primed for more or less equal success. After all, Uncle Tupelo had always balanced two distinct singing and songwriting voices, and both were held in similarly high esteem at the time.
•→     In 1995, those bands — Son Volt, led by Jay Farrar, and Wilco, led by Jeff Tweedy — released similarly heralded (and terrific) debuts. But their fates and reputations shifted considerably from there: Wilco grew more iconic and creatively expansive, ultimately overshadowing even the genre~defining band that spawned it, while Son Volt settled into cult status and an unsteady career path marked by lineup and label changes, as well as a hiatus to accommodate a brief solo career.
•→     But Son Volt has always deserved more attention than it’s gotten, and the occasion of its eighth album is as good a time as any to revisit a sound that’s worn well with time. At just 31 minutes, Notes of Blue provides a lean and sturdy showcase for Farrar’s eternally weary but undiminished voice — which here gets employed in the service of shimmery ballads (“Promise the World,” “Cairo and Southern”) and rowdy, chugging rockers (“Static,” “Lost Souls”) alike.
•→     Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen remain useful touchstones for describing Son Volt’s approach, from the alternating potency and delicacy of the guitars to the singers’ shared willingness to turn a jaundiced eye to cruel power structures. Notes of Blue’s “Back Against The Wall” ties all of those elements and influences into one bracing anthem of endurance, as Farrar offers notes of encouragement that could double as mantras for his own rich and underrated career. “What survives the long, cold winter,” he sings at one point, “will be stronger and can’t be undone.”
•→     https://www.npr.org/
Review
BY ERIC HARABADIAN, MARCH 22, 2017, Score: 8
★λ★•     →     This is the eighth installment in the legacy of one of the leading bands in alternative rock and roots music. Son Volt began in the early ‘90s and, essentially, laid the ground~work for what is now commonly known as Americana. The album title refers to the band’s original takes on blues greats like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and British folk icon Nick Drake. But, rather than adhere to strict convention, they put their own spin on things. There are trance~like acoustic pieces such as “The Storm” and raw rockers like “Static” that brilliantly bestow homage to the aforementioned artists, yet retain a personal vision.
★λ★•     →     http://www.musicconnection.com/
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming; Score: ***
→     In the grand tradition of AC/DC, the Ramones, and Robert Pollard, Jay Farrar is a guy who has essentially been making the same record over and over again throughout his career. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself; all of those artists have made plenty of great, powerful records that reflected a distinctive style that was theirs and theirs alone. Ever since Uncle Tupelo’s March 16~20, 1992, where the divide between Farrar and Jeff Tweedy’s writing styles became especially clear, Farrar’s music has been dominated by his deep, thoughtful vocals, his strong, elemental melodies, and his bursts of Neil Young~style roughhouse guitar. Twenty~five years on, Farrar hasn’t abandoned that formula, and while he puts a somewhat different spin on his songwriting on 2017’s Notes of Blue, recorded with the latest edition of his band Son Volt, it’s entirely obvious that this is Farrar’s work less than 30 seconds into the first track, “Promise the World.” Son Volt’s lineup has been fluid since Farrar resurrected the band in 2005, but with Farrar at the helm their musical personality has not. The title Notes of Blue refers to his recent fascination with vintage rural blues that informed this batch of songs, but the lyrical fragments scavenged from ancient blues numbers and the bursts of slide guitar only do so much to give this album a distinctive outlook. Farrar is still a commanding vocalist, his guitar work remains powerful and muscular, and this new edition of Son Volt (Mark Spencer on bass, slide guitar, and piano, Gary Hunt on fiddle, Jason Kardong on pedal steel, and Jacob Edwards on drums) sounds taut and convincing. But despite diving into the blues, ultimately Notes of Blue sounds like territory that Farrar has explored before, and this never connects with the strength of his best work. Committed fans and casual admirers will find Notes of Blue worth a listen, but ultimately this is the work of an artist who has done better with similar ingredients in the past.
Label: http://www.thirtytigers.com/
Son Volt Tuning Fork October 13, 2017
By The 13th Floor → October 14, 2017
→     https://www.13thfloor.co.nz/son-volt-tuning-fork-october-13-2017/    
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Son Volt and Duquette Johnston, The Social, Nov. 15
Posted By Bao Le~Huu on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 11:27 am
→     https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/11/17/in-rare-orlando-show-son-volt-prove-to-be-living-masters-on-stage-with-duquette-johnston
Reviews: http://www.countrystandardtime.com/d/artist.asp?xid=204&c=148
Discography:
→     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)
→     Notes of Blue (February 17, 2017), Thirty Tigers Records (US)
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SON VOLT — NOTES OF BLUE (Feb. 17, 2017)

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