When Uncle Tupelo broke up in 1994, I was bummed. Anodyne, the bands debut album, is one of my “desert island” albums. I had the cassette, the CD, the MP3 and now the FLAC version of this masterpiece. This split, however, resulted into the creation of 2 musical superpowers, Wilco and Son Volt. While Wilco has gone on to stellar heights, Son Volt has kind of remained under the radar. With over 20 albums under their belt, Son Volt has remained true to the Uncle Tupelo sound. Touring in support of their latest release, Notes of Blue, Son Volt stopped by First Ave on Wednesday night to a packed house.
Anders Parker opened the show with an entirely acoustic set. He has toured with various alt country bands including Varnaline and the experimental band Space Needle Having also collaborated with Jay Farrar on Gob Iron, he was a natural choice to start the evening. His 45-minute set was somber and emotional. He is a master of heavy, open string strumming a dark, bluesy riffs. The harmonica on the last tune added nicely to Parker’s distinctive emotive sound. His new album, “The Man Who Fell From Earth” drops in April, but you can pre-order on his website.
Son Volt came on around 9 and jumped right into the rocking Cherokee Street. With it’s Crazy Horse sound, this song off of the new album had the nearly sold out crowd stomping and grooving. On Static, Guitarist Chris Frame laid down scorching slide licks to accompany the dark brooding rhythm guitar of Jay Farrar. While Farrar has a rather stoic stage presence, Frame and Bassist Andrew Duplantis are rock star AF, Duplantis swinging his ample mane like an 80’s metal god. In spite of alt country labels, acoustic songs and an album named Notes of Blue, make no mistake about it, this was a rock show. If Neil Young and Crazy Horse had a love child with Bruce Springsteen, the demon seed would be named Son Volt.
Set List: Cherokee St. – Lost Souls – Buzz And Grind – Static – Damn Shame – The Picture – Dynamite – Tear Stained Eye- Midnight- Sinking Down- Back Against The Wall – Catching On – Cairo And Southern – Ten Second News – Promise The World – Back Against The Wall – Bandages And Scars – Driving The View – Route – Drown – Afterglow 61 Encore : Still Be Around – Windfall – Graveyard Shift – Chickamauga- What Goes Around