Son Volt – The Orange Peel (Asheville, NC)

Jay Farrar     Photo by David J. Simchock
Jay Farrar
Photo by David J. Simchock

Fans of all things Son Volt were treated to a long night of entertainment on April 11th. First up, everyone from the group, except Jay Farrar, formed the band serving as opener, Gary Hunt’s Missouri-based Colonel Ford. When Farrar appeared to lead the same line-up for the main show, the country/bluegrass/western swing sound of the initial act transformed seamlessly into the alternative country these pioneers of Americana are so loved for. Over the course of eighteen numbers plus a four-song encore, favorites from each of their seven full-length albums were featured, including “Drowned,” “Tear Stained Eye,” and “Windfall” from their widely popular first album, Trace. From Honky Tonk, their latest release, numbers included “Barricades,” “Wild Side,” and “Bakersfield.” It wouldn’t be a Son Volt album without a good-sized helping of heartache, but their recent work also includes a fair amount of hopefulness.   Farrar doesn’t look like he’s aged from the days of Uncle Tupelo, but at 46, his music is reflecting that “making peace with the past” sentiment common to artists at mid-life. The show concluded with a cover of Waylon Jennings’ “Stop the World and Let Me Off,” and admirers of Farrar went home feeling grateful that he hasn’t stopped creating and never got off his long and winding road of musical pursuits.

– Beth Baldino 

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