Son Volt is an Alternative Country band from St. Louis, Missouri. They were formed in 1994 out of the ashes of the seminal alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, which had two songwriters. Jeff Tweedy formed Wilco; Jay Farrar formed Son Volt. Farrar's songs dominated most of Uncle Tupelo's records, but Wilco became much more famous and popular than Son Volt. In part, that might be because Farrar tended to stick with the alternative country/Americana playbook in a way that Tweedy did not.
Son Volt released three albums before going on hiatus in 1999. During that period, Farrar released several solo albums, only to reform Son Volt (with a completely different lineup) in 2004. Since that time, he has alternated between solo albums, other collaborative projects, and Son Volt records.
- Jay Farrar (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano)
- Chris Frame (guitar)
- Mark Spencer (steel guitar, keyboards, bass)
- Andrew Duplantis (bass)
- Mark Matterson (drums)
- Dave Boquist (guitar, banjo, lap steel, fiddle, 1994-1999)
- Jim Boquist (bass, vocals, 1994-1999)
- Dave Bryson (drums, 2004-2013)
- Mike Heidorn: drums (1994-1999)
- Chris Masterson (guitar, 2007-2009)
- Brad Rice (guitar, 2004-2007)
- Trace (1995)
- Straightaways (1997)
- Wide Swing Tremolo (1998)
- A Retrospective: 1995-2000 (2005)
- Okemah and the Melody of Riot (2005)
- The Search (2007)
- American Central Dust (2009)
- Honky Tonk (2013)
- Notes of Blue (2017)
- Union (2019)
- Electro Melodier (2021)
Jay Farrar solo
- Sebastopol (2001)
- ThirdShiftGrottoSlack (EP, 2002)
- The Slaughter Rule (film soundtrack, 2002)
- Terroir Blues (2003)
- Stone, Steel & Bright Lights (live album, 2004)
- Live in Seattle (2004)
- Live EP (2004)
- One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Music from Kerouac's Big Sur (with Benjamin Gibbard, 2009)
- New Multitudes (with Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Yim Yames, 2012)
- Let's Multiply (EP, with Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Yim Yames, 2012)
- Dogtown Sessions: Terroir Blues (2012)
- Live in St. Louis (2013)
Wide Swing Tropes:
- Alternative Country: One of the most prominent bands in the scene, partially due to Jay Farrar's past association with Uncle Tupelo.
- Band of Relatives: The original lineup featured brothers Dave and Jim Boquist, on lead guitar and bass, respectively.
- Cover Version: Trace contains a cover of "Mystifies Me" by Faces and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.
- Face on the Cover: The album cover for Notes of Blue is a stylized painting of Jay Farrar.
- Greatest Hits Album: A Retrospective: 1995-2000, which covers the band's time on Warner Bros. Records.
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Cherokee St.", "Reverie", "Right On Through"
- Non-Appearing Title: "Windfall"
- Performance Video: "Drown" features the band performing the song in a rehearsal space and in front of a green screen.
- Protest Song: "Endless War" is one, against The War on Terror.
- Title Track: Union and The Search both contain title tracks.