SON VOLT ‘Union’ – CD


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Son Volt are leaders within the incredibly influential music movement that is Americana, led by the amazing songwriting of Jay Farrar.
Union, their ninth album, Farrar says “is a testament to the role of folk music as protest music” while confronting our current political climate. Going one step further, they’ve recorded a majority of these songs at places associated with two people Farrar considers important in American history: labor and community organiser Mary Harris (at the Mother Jones Museum in Illinois) and iconic folk hero Woody Guthrie (at the Woody Guthrie Centre in Oklahoma).

The best tracks hit their targets through clarity and directness. Farrar’s impressionistic lyrics play well, building a mood rather that suits the political nature of the album. With the majority of the songs maintaining a steady stride, Farrar shares his conviction with authority and insistence. Those are the qualities that allow Union to remain true to its common core. The band’s as tight as ever, relaxed but always strong. Farrar’s imagery should prove timeless and, appropriately enough, of a piece with the best work of Jay Farrar’s estimable career.