Son Volt

Album Title: A Retrospective: 1995-2000
Release Date: 2005
Rating:
Genre: Alt-Country
More than 15 years since their break up, Uncle Tupelo remain a seminal influence on today's alt-country singers and songwriters. While fans long for the magic created by the songwriting duo of Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar, each artist has gone on to successful solo careers with other band incarnations. While Tweedy founded Wilco, Farrar created the rootsy, road rock outfit Son Volt. This compilation gathers the best of this band's output over the course of five years. While five years is not long enough for a greatest hits collection, in the song cycle life of Farrar, it's more than enough time for a really good retrospective.

Ironically, the disc is now even more of a true retrospective because Son Volt recently released a new disc, but it features Farrar and a brand new lineup of players. This retrospective collects the best songs from Son Volt's three studio discs (Trace, Straightaways, Wide Swing Tremolo) and adds other odds and sods from various compilation albums and movie soundtracks. The highlights are the four previously unreleased tracks, which includes stripped down, Four Track Demo versions of the Americana ballads "Tear Stained Eye," and "Loose String," and a stunning acoustic version of "Medicine Hat" recorded live at the Acoustic Caf» in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1998. For Farrar, this disc provides closure on the period of Son Volt phase one, preserving these songs for prosperity and giving fans a 20-song collection sure to satisfy into the wee hours with its haunting songs and musical meanderings.

Writer: David McPherson


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