Daily Listen-Son Volt-Windfall

I’m pretty sure that, by now, the universal response to “What is your favorite genre?” is “Anything but country.” That isn’t totally fair; there’s a pretty big difference between, say, Florida Georgia Line and a band like Son Volt. (That’s not a knock on Florida Georgia Line; “Cruise” is an absolute tune.) Point is, there is some good country music out there. Today’s listen, “Windfall,” off the 1995 album Trace by the aforementioned Son Volt, is probably my favorite country-ish song. Son Volt is a band that merges rootsy accents (banjo, pedal steel) with straightforward 90’s rock; however, frontman Jay Farrar’s lyrics are more likely to touch on existential angst than whiskey or dirt roads. “Windfall” falls closer to the country end of the spectrum; it describes the experience of an interstate solo road trip, and it’s got some killer fiddlin’. Farrar perfectly sums up music’s transcendent potential when he sings, “Catching an all-night station/Somewhere in Louisiana/It sounds like 1963/But for now, it sounds like heaven.” An excellent driving song, “Windfall” will appeal to anyone who has ever caterwauled along to Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” at a college party after one too many cheap beers. (Fun fact, Jay Farrar used to be part of the band Uncle Tupelo along with Jeff Tweedy, who went on to form Wilco after Uncle Tupelo disbanded.)

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