Son Volt’s Jay Farrar is an iconic alt-country/Americana pioneer and one of the genre’s most vital and beloved songwriters. With his thoughtful, raw and honest lyrics, Farrar is once again speaking to our social consciousness in a way that only he can with new track “Livin’ in the USA.” The song questions the notion of the American dream as many continue to grapple with the reality of what that is. Is it actually attainable for all, as many of us were taught? Is the land of the free and the brave free for everyone? And at what cost? In the spirit of the great activist artists before him, Farrar asks, “Where’s the heart from days of old? Where’s the empathy? Where’s the soul?” Listen to/view “Livin’ in the USA” HERE.
“The song didn’t start out as an intentional homage thing, but in retrospect I see it as a nod to Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ or Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’,” Farrar says. “Those songs established a thematic tradition. I’m just updating and asking similar questions. How can so much wrong happen in this country that’s held up as an example of what’s righteous? Is America the healthiest or happiest country? Democratic Darwinism is the brutal American reality…”
The Bluegrass Situation recently premiered the video which you can view HERE. “Livin’ in the USA” is featured on Son Volt’s tenth studio album, Electro Melodier (Transmit Sound/Thirty Tigers). The title, taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, also describes the album’s unique blend of folk, country, blues, soul and rock. Electro Melodier features Mark Spencer (piano, organ, acoustic slide, lap steel, backing vocals) Andrew DuPlantis (bass, backing vocals), Chris Frame (guitar) and Mark Patterson (drums, percussion). Son Volt will take Electro Melodier on the road with select tour dates in summer and fall. See below and for tickets go to https://sonvolt.net/.
Farrar started Son Volt in 1994 after leaving the seminal group Uncle Tupelo, whose No Depression album helped define the alt-country and Americana genre. Son Volt’s debut Trace was heavily lauded and remains a defining document of the ’90s alt-country movement. Two decades later, the group continues to decidedly capture the times while breaking new musical ground on Electro Melodier.
SON VOLT TOUR DATES
8/7 – St. Louis, MO – Open Highway Music Festival
8/8 – Indianapolis, IN – HiFi Annex
8/20 – Berwyn, IL – Fitzgerald’s
8/21 – Manitowoc, WI – Metro Jam
9/9 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic
9/10 – Tahlequah, OK – Diamond Stone Music Festival
9/11 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
9/17 – Cape Girardeau, MO – Shipyard Fest
9/18 – Cincinnati, OH – Ludlow Garage
9/19 – Louisville, KY – Headliners
9/21 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre
9/22 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
9/23 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite
9/24 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
9/25 – Thomson, GA – Blind Willie McTell Music Festival
9/26 – Memphis, TN – Lafayette’s