The Unification of Son Volt

A perfect combination of past and present, Son Volt's "Union" seeks to address some contemporary turbulent politics.

By Clotilde Maréchal | Video of the Day | April 23, 2019

Between 1987 and 1994, Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy were in a group called Uncle Tupelo, one of the greatest Americana alternative country groups of the century. After they broke up, Tweedy continued the group under the new name of Wilco and Farrar went on to form Son Volt. Fifteen years later, Union not only perfectly captures the energy of Farrar’s group but it also shows that the fifty-year-old songwriter from Illinois still has the same style, unlike Tweedy who experimented a lot with Wilco’s style. The folk music in this 9th album from Son Volt is politically charged and touches on longstanding struggles in America that are still ongoing in 2019. Some songs from Union were even recorded in places with historical significance such as the Mother Jones Museum in Mount Olive which was dedicated to Mary Harris, a great American trade unionist and socialist activist. Others were recorded in the Woody Guthrie Centre in Tulsa which is dedicated to the folk music legend, Woody Guthrie. In the shadow of these historical icons, Jay Farrar and his fellow musicians make their convictions clear in this intense collection of 13 songs.


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