The great alt-country band Uncle Tupelo played its last concert on May 1, 1994, at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, Missouri. Fortunately, the concert is now available on YouTube in high quality video.
By the time of this show, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar were already not getting along well. Soon after the performance, they would both go on to create other bands, with Farrar founding Son Volt and Tweedy forming Wilco.
But on that night in May 1994, there was one last grasp at combined harmony and greatness. In the video below, Tweedy and Farrar trade off on the lead vocals, with drummer Mike Heindon joining the band on the final song of the set, “Looking for a Way Out,” and also singing on the encore with Brian Henneman and the Bottle Rockets on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Three Steps.”
So, take some time to travel back to 1994 when one of the great bands was still together. The final words of the show: “That’s got to be it.” Check it out.
From YouTube, the songs at this performance are: “No Depression”/ “Chickamauga”/ “Watch Me Fall”/ “Grindstone”/ “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down”/ “Fifteen Keys”/ “Long Cut”/ “Anodyne”/ “New Madrid”/ “Slate”/ “Atomic Power”/ “Postcard”/ “Gun”/ “High Water”/ “Acuff-Rose”/ “True to Life”/ “We’ve Been Had”/ “Give Back the Key To My Heart”/ “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere”/ “Whiskey Bottle”/ “Truck Drivin’ Man”/ “Looking for a Way Out” (w/ Mike Heidorn)/ “Gimme Three Steps” (w/ Heidorn and the Bottle Rockets, Brian Henneman vocals).
What is your favorite Uncle Tupelo song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
In advance of his upcoming album, Sukierae, Jeff Tweedy has made available one of the twenty tracks, “I’ll Sing It.” The album and the new song feature Tweedy’s 18-year-old son Spencer playing drums. So the former Wilco front man and Uncle Tupelo member has explained that the album should be considered as coming from the father-son duo under the band name Tweedy. Check out the new track.
Sukierae, Tweedy’s first album since Wilco’s The Whole Love (2011), will be released September 16 on Wilco’s label dBpm. For more on the album and Tweedy’s upcoming summer tour, check out the article on Rolling Stone or head over to Wilco’s website.
Are you excited about Tweedy’s upcoming album? Leave your two cents in the comments.
On November 27, 1996, Wilco performed in Chicago, and through the magic of YouTube and JBTV, you may watch the entire video here.
The band released Being There in 1996, so not surprisingly, the set featured a number of songs from that CD. The songs in the Chicago performance are: 1. I Must Be High; 2. Passenger Side (Country); 3. Passenger Side (Rock); 4. Outta Mind (Outta Sight); 5. Monday; 6. The Lonely 1; 7. Box Full Of Letters; 8. Gun; 9. Someone Else’s Song; 10. Hotel Arizona; 11. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; and 12. Sunken Treasure. What is your favorite Wilco song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
On Tuesday, March 5, Son Volt releases its seventh album Honky Tonk (2013). The country Bakersfield Sound influences the album, and lead singer Jay Farrar described why the band chose the album’s title: “Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road.” For those like me who have been following Farrar and Son Volt since the band spun off from Uncle Tupelo, the new album captures what was great about the band from the very beginning, even though Farrar’s current version of Son Volt has different band members than when they started. Just listen to the fiddle on the opening track, “Hearts and Minds”:
Here is Son Volt’s teaser video for the appropriately entitled “Bakersfield” from the album:
American Songwriter magazine is streaming the album for a limited time, so hop to their website to hear the rest of the tracks. Farrar also has a new memoir Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs coming out this month about his career, including the breakup of Uncle Tupelo that led Jeff Tweedy to create Wilco. After listening through the tracks, I am excited about the new release. With new and upcoming releases from Son Volt, The Mavericks, Steve Earle, and others, it is already looking like a good year for Americana music.
What is your favorite Son Volt album? Leave your two cents in the comments.
I know some Chimesfreedom readers are big Bob Seger fans, so they will be excited to hear that this week Seger played a new song during his “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” tour performance at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio. On his first tour since 2011, Seger explained that the new song, “All the Roads,” is “kinda about the career.” He wrote “All of the Roads” in September, so we can hope there is more coming. Check it out.
In Toledo, Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, which now also includes guitarist Rob McNelley, played “All the Roads” during a 24-song, two-hour and 10-minute show. According to Rolling Stone, his performance of “Like a Rock” was the first time he had played that song live since 1996, resting the song after it was used in a Chevrolet commercial. But when he sang the song this week, it was a heartfelt Bob Seger song, not a truck-selling song.
Seger played some interesting covers too, including “California Stars,” which was recorded by Wilco and Billy Bragg when they put music to Woody Guthrie’s lost lyrics on the CD Mermaid Avenue (1998). It’s a great song, and Seger does a good job on it.