Union is the appropriately titled masterpiece by the No Depression pioneers, Son Volt. Their ninth studio release finds Jay Fararr and company determined to trudge through the ironies of road-weary life.
The aftermath of Fararr’s divide from the iconic Americana group, Uncle Tupelo (file under Jeff Tweedy/Wilco), reveals that the wounds are still evident, but are now scars of experience and confidence with a pin-pointed unity and a conscious respect for the past and fervor for the future.
Through the healing magic of songwriting and camaraderie, the silver lining of time and ragged optimism resound within the confines of each track as they build a steady stride of momentum and character craftsmanship.
Union is like a cold glass of lemonade after a long day of manual labor — relaxing and reflecting with a splash of sweet and sour refreshment.
Fararr has an uncanny knack for using his primitive and raw vocal inflections as an essential instrument of rhythm and organic percussive accompaniment to the vintage steel-slide and campfire strums of his compadres.
This album is the perfect hot-weather soundtrack to chill to as Mother Nature begins stoking the outdoor furnace into summer.
– Chris Rucker