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I haven't seen Son Volt since the Trace tour, but I am going to see the co-headlining (?) tour with Justin Townes Earle later this month.  What are Son Volt shows like these days, all acoustic-y or will there be electric guitars and drums and bass rock band style?

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Did anyone catch Son Volt on CBS Saturday Morning? There's a regular segment at the end of the show called Saturday Sessions in which they have a musical guest. There's usually an interview segment followed by 2 or 3 songs. Not surprisingly, in this case there were 3 songs but no interview. They sounded good, though.

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Did anyone catch Son Volt on CBS Saturday Morning? There's a regular segment at the end of the show called Saturday Sessions in which they have a musical guest. There's usually an interview segment followed by 2 or 3 songs. Not surprisingly, in this case there were 3 songs but no interview. They sounded good, though.

I only remember 2 songs. Will have to go back to the tape. The last 30 min of show is great. First the chef then the music. Always interesting artists. Only some get the interview. 50/50.

I didn't see it yet. I am still amazed Jay is doing such things.

I am amazed as well. Don't think I ever was an artist who looks so unhappy on stage.

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I didn't see it yet. I am still amazed Jay is doing such things.


Somebody got in Jay's ear about doing a bit more self promotion.  I'm not on Facebook, but I know they posted live streams of portions of many shows, and both Jay and Son Volt have a presence on Twitter.  It's paying off as they've sold out many shows on this tour so far.  Anybody who gave up on the band after SV 1.0 dissolved, it's time to get back on the bandwagon.  Son Volt will never have that band of brothers feel they had with the original line-up, but the guys Jay's playing with now are delivering the goods.

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I just found out that the bill for the Son Volt show I'm going to this Saturday in Phoenix, AZ is Son Volt, Justin Townes Earle and The Sadies opening the show.  Wow, this should be a great night of music!

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Son Volt show last night in Phoenix turned out to be the Sadies opening doing their Ennio Morricone spaghetti western/rockabilly thing and then them backing Justin Townes Earle with the addition of Justin's guitar player Paul Niehaus.  Son Volt headlined.  


I really liked Son Volt's lead guitarist, that guy has his Mick Taylor sound and licks down pat, he played a lot of slide on a Les Paul and it really worked.  The keyboard guy was good too and slid over to pedal steel for a song or two which was also really good. The rhythm section was solid.  Son Volt's songs, however, for me were just a little too 90s roots pop rock, sounded kinda dated to that time period, a little too simplistic, I guess.  It was pleasant and good to hear the songs from Trace, but just when they would hit a nice groove and start to dig in, they'd end the song.  I kept hoping they'd extend those songs into a little mini jam, but that's not what they do.


It also didn't help Son Volt stand out for me that they had to go on after a fucking stunningly brilliant set by Justin Townes Earle.  The Sadies backing him were incredible!  Instead of their guitars, they switched to mandolin and fiddle and electric piano and JTE's guy Paul Niehaus  played pedal steel and slide (also on a Les Paul). They could play any style Justin threw at them, old timey blues or classic country, folk or rockabilly, and make it sound authentic.  I felt like I was watching talent on that was close to the level of Petty or the Grateful Dead or the Band backing Dylan or the Heartbreakers backing Johnny Cash, in the sense that it was just a superb pairing of a seasoned, road tested roots rock band backing a genius solo performer with musical telepathy.  Justin has such a mastery of his craft as a performer and singer/songwriter and he makes it looks effortless.  I really just hated to see his set end. It looks like this tour has just started and I don't know if the Sadies have ever backed him before, but they were tight and totally spot on. If you like either Sadies or JTE or just like solid roots rock, try to catch this tour, it was amazingly great!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came to Wilco via Son Volt a long time ago.... Just saw Jay in Phoenix a couple weeks ago at the fabulous Crescent Ballroom, i was excited to see him(especially at that intimate venue) but I was really tired so i didnt get into it as i should have, but it wasnt the best show i have seen. I would go again though if he came back thru town. 

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Thx. for the review, Shug - does sound like was great show.


Hoping Jay gets a wild hair and does another Chicago gig over the summer. Still bummed that I missed the last one...


Just saw Son Volt is playing in Naperville on June 10th.  Looks like it's a benefit for the local NPR station.

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We are pleased to announce that Son Volt's "The Search" will be reissued on CD, digital and vinyl on Friday, April 6. This deluxe reissue mirrors the vinyl-only release of "On Chant and Strum" and features all 22 tracks on all formats. The double-LP is pressed on opaque sea foam green vinyl. Currently, "The Search" is out of print. CD and LP will be available for pre-order soon at www.sonvolt.net.

A deluxe reissue of Son Volt's "Okemah and the Melody of Riot" will be released as a Record Store Day exclusive on April 21. This double-LP is pressed on opaque red vinyl and features 22 tracks, including bonus live and previously unreleased songs. "Okemah and the Melody of Riot" was never released on vinyl. This pressing is limited to 2000 copies. For availability, please visit www.recordstoreday.com.

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  • 8 months later...

Looks like Jay is having a sale:






Son Volt’s Jay Farrar to Sell Hundreds of Guitars, Records, and More on Reverb


Published Dec 12, 2018 by Reverb


Today, we're excited to announce that Son Volt's Jay Farrar will sell nearly 200 guitars, amps, and pedals—as well as nearly 100 records—through The Official Jay Farrar of Son Volt Reverb Shop and The Official Jay Farrar of Son Volt Reverb LP Shop on December 18.


As you can see in the video above, the gear will include some prime vintage guitars, amps, and pedals, used by Farrar on stage and in the studio for the past 30 years. Many of them have personal stories from a career spanning across folk, country, and rock music. To be notified as soon as the shop goes live, sign up with your email address in the form below.

"I knew that vintage instruments like these were used to create a lot of great music that I grew up listening to, dating all the way back to the '50s. I knew that not a lot of people were using this gear to make popular mainstream music, so I gravitated toward the older stuff," Farrar said.


Among the vintage guitars for sale in The Official Jay Farrar of Son Volt Reverb Shop are a 1959 Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Farrar got from Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets, in exchange for Farrar's 1962 Mercury Comet. "I'm not sure who got the better deal ... they're both classics," Farrar said.


A white 1962 Gibson SG Standard used on Son Volt's first album, Trace, also reminds Farrar of his youth. "This one takes me back because I started learning how to play electric guitar on a guitar almost exactly like this," Farrar says. "It was interesting learning to play guitar in the 1970s because old, classic guitars like this weren't valued much. This would have cost just a hundred bucks or so at that time."


Farrar's shop will also feature:

    A late 1950s Fender 1000 8-string pedal steel that Farrar notes is the first he ever purchased. According to Jay, this piece of gear has a few mysteries associated with it. "There's an outline of the guy's name who used to play it—'Red.' I picked it up in St. Louis and there was a famous session pedal steel guitarist named Red Rhodes. It could have been his, but I can't authenticate that. The other mystery is what year it is—a 1956 or 1957—which makes it one of the first pedal steels Fender made," Farrar said.


    A 1957 Gibson Les Paul Jr. that Farrar picked up on the road. According to him, "When we were touring in the early '90s, there was no internet and we didn't even really have cell phones. So you would spend your time looking through pawn shops and music stores and eventually, you'd find something like this."


    A Fender Bassman Tweed 2x12 Reissue amp that Farrar picked up in the early 2000s at a pawn shop in Augusta, Georgia. "This Fender Bassman has traveled the continent," Farrar said of the amp, which he used on tours throughout the U.S. and for shows in Canada.


    Multiple effects pedals, cables, preamps, and other pieces of recording and pro audio gear from Farrar's recording studio, which he's used since the early 2000s when he released his first solo album.

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Man, Jay seems kinda sad in that video - though that's might be the way he is. That whole 'you can't take this stuff with you when you go.....' 


Just read over on the Hoffman board that a new Son Volt is coming out next years - looks interesting. I haven't listened to their last one in a while - need to give to give it a spin.


Also just saw that they playing a New Years Eve show in CO -- imagine how that countdown is going to be??? 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Yay - happy new year, everyone... 


Actually it may be a nice, relaxing show with a sprinkle of rocking.





Son Volt’s ninth studio album, Union (Transmit Sound/Thirty Tigers), will be released worldwide on March 29th. Pre-order starts January 18.

Jay Farrar channels folk music’s enduring legacy of the troubadour on Union. “There are so many forces driving our country apart,” observes Farrar. “What can we do to bring our society back together?” Initially intended to be an entirely political statement, Union morphed into a combination of politically inspired material balanced by a cluster of new songs reflecting the power of love, time and music that sustains us. “While Rome Burns” emphasizes finding unity during times of turmoil while an album highlight, “Devil May Care,” offers the distraction we need, an effusive tribute to the fun of playing and creating music.

A unique aspect of Union is that eight of the thirteen songs were recorded at places associated with two figures in American history whom Farrar considers important – labor and community organizer Mary Harris “Mother Jones” and iconic folk hero Woody Guthrie. Three songs were tracked at the Mother Jones Museum in Mount Olive, IL and four others were recorded at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The legacy of Woody Guthrie helped to inform Union’s closing song “The Symbol” which was inspired by Guthrie’s classic “Deportee” (“Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”).

Union features long time band members Mark Spencer (piano, organ, acoustic slide, lap steel, backing vocals) Andrew DuPlantis (bass, backing vocals), returning member Chris Frame (guitar), as well as newest member Mark Patterson on drums and percussion.


While Rome Burns
The 99
Devil May Care
Reality Winner
The Reason

Lady Liberty
Holding Your Own
Truth To Power Blues
Rebel Girl
Slow Burn
The Symbol


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