Thirty years after the pioneer release of the genre-forming album Trace, Son Volt is back with its 10th studio masterpiece, Electro Melodier. Named for two vintage guitar amplifiers, this album is a meat-and-three buffet of Americana with a side of blues and funk groove and a heap of folk salad.
Frontman Jay Farrar has a unique way of filtering life through the cheesecloth of fiction to provide a fragrant first-person perspective on life, love and the roadmap of human connection. He spares no byway with songs like the ramble-thumping “Reverie” and the lazy waltz of “Levee On Down”.
With simple melodic strums, there’s heart cord to be struck with the autobiographical love story of his 25-year marriage in “Lucky Ones” and the tremolo buzzing ballad “Diamonds and Cigarettes,” which features the haunting and angelic backing vocals of Nashville’s own Laura Cantrell.
As festival season is blooming and live music is in revival, make a point to catch Son Volt as they roll into Thomson on September 25 for the 27th Annual Blind WIllie McTell Music Festival. You will not be disappointed.
– Chris Rucker