by carl wilson

Talk About Country Grammar


Can I call 'em or what?


Sept. 22 - Midwest-based Son Volt, with songwriter Jay Farrar at the helm, will begin recording their fourth full length album at the end of September. Following a five-year hiatus, with the exception of the April 2004 recording of Sometimes for the Alejandro Escovedo tribute album, multi-instrumentalist Dave Boquist, bassist Jim Boquist and drummer Mike Heidorn will reconvene at Farrar's St. Louis studio. Speaking about the Sometimes session, Farrar says: "It felt like we hit the ground running when we recorded Al's song for Por Vida. Five years seemed like five days at that point. It proved that more recording and performing as Son Volt is something that should happen."

As this revered band reconnects, a unique glimpse inside the Son Volt sessions will be offered. Beginning October 1, a webcamera will be placed in the studio to capture a day of pre-production and 16 days of recording. The web camera can be accessed at and will feature streaming photos that refresh every 5 seconds.

Blah blah blah Son Volt in 1994 after the dissolution of Uncle Tupelo. With the release of Trace, Straightaways and Wide Swing Tremolo, blah blah blah always pushed the blah blah blah. Son Volt is not currently affiliated with a label and plans to return to the road in early 2005.

All right, actually my piece was about a totally different kind of alt-country revival, but music crits can't resist playing vindicated prophet. For instance: I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE OF MUSIC AND IT IS THE PAST! That one's always guaranteed to come true. Still, the SV revival is good news to these ears: Straightaways in particular is a favourite album and, while Farrar's solo stuff is strong it always did risk travelling too far down Introvert Alley.

Incidentally I got complaints about leaving Bubba Sparxxx out of that original piece - totally justified. The problem was that I hadn't heard Bubba's latest album and didn't have time to correct that situation when I was working on the piece. I'd originally mentioned it in passing but decided if you can't say something that's something, better to say nothing. Mentally I grouped Bubba under "dirty southern hip-hop," which is mentioned repeatedly, but it's fair to say he addresses the hip-hop-is-alt-country issue more directly than anybody else....

... or at least he did, until Nelly decided to include a duet with Tim McGraw on his new album! Now there you have a thesis that's pretty much graduated to Fact if anything aesthetic ever has.

In other news: This week's column is bumped from tomorrow's Globe and Mail - look for it on Saturday instead. The subject? Owen Pallett, leader of Les Mouches and Final Fantasy, member of the Hidden Cameras, string arranger for the Arcade Fire, Jim Guthrie, Royal City and many others, and all-'round boy genius.

News | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, September 22 at 10:54 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (0)


Zoilus by Carl Wilson