When americana pioneers Uncle Tupelo split in 1994, it was like cutting a worm in half. They both grew new heads. Or tails. Whatever allegedly happens when you cut a worm in half. One of those heads was of course Jay Farrar who went on to found Son Volt, and though their debut ‘Trace’ was always heralded as the classic, 1997’s ‘Straightaways’ has always held a more special place for me in their canon. Apart from anything else it contains the track ‘Creosote’, my favourite song by Son Volt and one of the most perfectly rounded americana songs ever (just listen to those lyrics), at the dawning of the UK bringing the genre to its bosom. Blair should have invited Farrar to Downing St instead of Noel Gallagher. Then again that would have involved good judgement.
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