A new blues album from key creators of Americana
Just now pushing 50, Jay Farrar, the creative force behind Son Volt, is still not as old as his voice. Not nearly. His singing voice, an ageless gift which sounds something like old timber looks, like the unpainted walls framing Walker Evans' best portraits from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: simple, durable, weathered and grooved and unplanned. The new Son Volt album, "Notes of Blue," will be the twentieth album—including a couple live releases and two movie soundtracks—to which Jay has lent his voice and songwriting. "Notes of Blue" is not the blues of appropriation, nor of beer commercials, nor especially of the W.C. Handy awards. It is the broader blues of the folk process, where they have always lived. In Jay's words, “For years I’ve been drawn to the passion, common struggle and possibility for redemption that’s always been a part of the blues. Everyone has to pay the rent and get along with their significant others, so many of the themes are universal. For me, the blues fills that void that's there for religion, really. That's the place I turn to be lifted up.” This is quintessential Son Volt. Tough, solitary, unflinching. "There's always a threat of darkness on the horizon,” Jay says. “There's also a path to a better way inherent in the blues.” Americana singer-songwriter Anders Parker opens.