Classic Clips: Son Volt “Tear Stained Eye”, Austin City Limits, 1996

This song has a significant amount of devotees already, and remains a cult favourite. Tucked away on Son Volt’s first album ‘Trace’, the song has a simplicity of form, but it also somehow transcends everything else around it, to achieve something close to perfection. Jay Farrar’s careworn vocal, the easy strum of the acoustic guitar, the softly plucked banjo, the emotional pull of the steel guitar, it’s all in there. On top of that, this performance (taken from the rather wonderful Austin City Limits show) elevates it still further – it’s hard to watch without thinking “I wish I was there” watching wonderful music, on a warm summer night, surrounded by trees and stars. Oh, and if this whet’s your appetite, ‘Windfall’ from the same show is also spectacularly poignant.


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