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Son Volt
Alternative Folk

After touring in support of their 1993 masterpiece Anodyne, the seminal alternative country band Uncle Tupelo split up over long-simmering creative differences between co-leaders Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy recruited much of the band to form Wilco, while Farrar teamed up with original Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn to form Son Volt, the more tradition-minded of the two Tupelo offshoots. Joined by brothers Jim (bass) and Dave Boquist (guitar, fiddle, banjo, fiddle, steel guitar), the band signed to Warner Brothers and released its debut album, Trace, in 1995. It was greeted with excellent reviews from most critics, offering a set of stark, subtle, mostly downbeat songs that drew from traditional country, folk, and roots rock. The single "Drown" was successful on both college and rock radio, and the band subsequently added unofficial fifth member Eric Heywood on mandolin and pedal steel for its second album. 1997's Straightaways mined territory similar to Trace and again received positive reviews, though some found Farrar's lack of creative progression troubling. 1998's Wide Swing Tremolo was a somewhat harder-rocking affair, but the erosion of critical support for the group continued. They ended up on an unofficial hiatus (rumors of their breakup were denied), and Farrar mounted a solo career with 2001's Sebastopol, putting the future of Son Volt in further doubt. Steve Huey

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