Every once in a while it’s good to take a breather, a vacation from our various stress-loads. But Jay Farrar, the longtime Son Volt bandleader, doesn’t subscribe to this. How can he? Within the last 15 months, he’s released two totally diverse record projects and is now engaged in a nationwide solo tour.�He’s still on the open road and running with it.
Along with Jeff Tweedy, his estranged former partner from the seminal Roots Rock band Uncle Tupelo back in the late ’80s, Jay Farrar is one of the true figureheads of the AltCountry genre.
Since Tupelo’s break-up in ’94, Farrar has gone on to help define and expand the Americana brand of Roots Rock and Country. He has alternately released Son Volt’s full-band records, solo ones and several movie soundtracks.
I spoke with Jay as he readied to return to the road after spending Halloween weekend with his family in the greater St. Louis area. If you’ve ever seen Farrar perform, then you know he’s not the most effusive of frontmen. In fact, he could give Bob Dylan a run this decade for the most inscrutable singer around — no glib stage chatter for these two.
Jay Farrar performs at the Southgate House Friday with Jessica Lea Mayfield. Go here to read Gregory Gaston's full interview.