Son Volt’s latest touring efforts have been decent, as drummer Dave Bryson points out with a touch of sarcasm on the band’s blog (sonvolt.wordpress.com). But he wasn’t too pleased with the Seattle Zoo gig July 23.
“With a belly full of high-dollar snacks we mounted the stage, sun in our eyes, and looked out over a sea of confused picknicking families, revelers in the beer garden with no chance of hearing a decent mix, and seagulls swarming overhead,” he wrote. “It was then that I realized the Zoo might be more appropriate for a Dave Koz and Brian Culbertson gig.” (Koz and Cultertson fall in line with Kenny G’s light “Jazz.”)
Bryson’s steady blog proves that Jay Farrar has stability with Son Volt’s latest lineup.
The AltCountry band took quite a hiatus not long after Warner Bros. Records gave it the boot in 1999. But 2005 was a key year: Farrar reformed the group and hooked up with Rhino Records to release A Retrospective: 1995-2000. An appealing survey of the band’s affection for ball-breaking Blues and hushed Americana, it revisits the albums Trace, Straightaways and Wide Swing Tremolo. It also restates the evolution of Farrar’s songwriting in the wake of Uncle Tupelo’s demise.
Four solid albums have followed A Retrospective, the latest being American Central Dust, released by Rounder Records last month. The piano-driven “Cocaine and Ashes” makes for a buzzworthy single because it revolves around the rumor that Keith Richard snorted his father’s ashes.
Joining Farrar and company at the Southgate House is Cary Hudson. He divides his time between solo efforts and Southern Rock powerhouse Blue Mountain, of which he is at helm.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get club details here.)