Jay Farrar Duo (Son Volt) w/ Andrew Duplantis 2/7/18

Wednesday, February 07 2018 6:00PM Doors / 8:00PM Start
Wed Feb 07 2018

Jay Farrar Duo (Son Volt) w/ Andrew Duplantis 2/7/18

at Venue




As a founder of alternative country pioneers Uncle Tupelo, a solo artist, and as the leader of
Son Volt, Jay Farrar’s work often seeks out the ghosts of America's discordant or forgotten past,
converses at length with them, and writes songs that stake a claim to a better future.  Most
recently, Farrar has added the Son Volt album, Notes of Blue, to his long list of critically
acclaimed albums. 

From his earliest recordings in the 1990s as a founding member of Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar
has been a keen observer of the American landscape: its beauties and its tragedies, salvations
and poisons.

It’s a perspective that’s been hard-won by steady touring and travel through this nation, and
Farrar’s two-decades as the leader of Son Volt (as well as impressive turns as an acclaimed
solo artist and collaborator) have only deepened and sharpened his gift for capturing the sights
and sounds of his American journey.

Son Volt’s latest, Notes of Blue, is not the blues of appropriation, nor of beer commercials, nor
especially of the W.C. Handy awards. It is the broader blues of the folk process, where they
have always lived, irrespective of culture and caste. The blues as one of many languages
available to shape and recast as the song needs. The blues as a jumping off point.

For Notes of Blue, Farrar’s notion of the blues focuses on specific guitar tunings, courtesy Skip
James, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Nick Drake. And on the structure of the songs
themselves – repeated lines, a few phrases borrowed from older blues. Both provided entry
points to his new songs.

“To me there's always been a mystique attached to those three tunings and those three
performers,” Farrar says. “So I was compelled to get inside those tunings and see what was
there. Skip James tuning in particular, supposedly has its origins in the Bahamas, it's a D-Minor
tuning, so it has built into it kind of an intangible haunting effect. Something you can't quite put
your finger on but it's there.”

Those entry points mean that Notes of Blue features far more fingerpicking than previous Son
Volt albums, and even (a nod to Fred McDowell), the bellowing, rambunctious slide of “Static.”
“All of that was the target,” Farrar says with his wry, concise clarity, “but the arrow landed
somewhere between Tom Petty and ZZ Top.”