“Few artists have been more sonically economical than Son Volt.”
7:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to welcome Son Volt to the South on Main stage! Doors open at 5:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. This show is made possible in part by Downtown Little Rock Partnership.
Tickets are $30 (General Admission), $36 (Reserved), and $38 (Premium Reserved). There are no tickets available at this time. Please visit the venue on the night of the show when doors open to inquire about any potential ticket releases.
The country and blues sounds explored by Son Volt on its last two records (2013’s Honky Tonk and 2017’s Notes of Blue) linger in the grooves of Union, the band’s latest release. But the new record also nods to many other mile markers along the band’s 25-year path. Some tunes offer a powerful return to the ringing lyrical clarity of 2005’s Okemah and the Melody of Riot and 2007’s The Search. Others harken back to the freewheeling poetic melodicism of 1994’s Trace and 1997’s Straightaways.
On Union, founder Jay Farrar taps into folk music’s rich lyrical legacy. “I was raised on folk music,” he observes. “Politics is a common thread there. In a time where we see threats to our way of life, and our democracy, from within, you say: What can I do? I put pen to paper and write music.”
A reinvigorated band chemistry anchors the new record, with new and returning members turning up in the Union mix. Longtime members Mark Spencer (piano, organ, acoustic slide, lap steel, backing vocals) and Andrew Duplantis (bass, backing vocals) have been at the core of Son Volt’s recent work. Guitarist Chris Frame—who toured with Son Volt in the Okemah era—rejoined the group for the Notes of Blue tour and plays on the new record. Duplantis recruited fellow Austin musician Mark Patterson to play drums and percussion.
Eight of the thirteen songs on Union were recorded at places associated with two figures in American history who Farrar says “made a difference”: Renowned American labor activist Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and quintessential American troubadour Woody Guthrie. Three songs were laid down at the Mother Jones Museum in Mount Olive, Illinois, while four others were recorded at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Andrew Duplantis is an American songwriter and musician currently based in Austin, Texas. He is currently the bass guitar player with Son Volt and Jon Dee Graham. Although he is best known as a bass player, having toured and recorded with Meat Puppets, Alejandro Escovedo, Tia Carrera, The Hobart Brothers and Lil’ Sis Hobart and Richard Buckner, he has also played bass with Bob Mould, James McMurtry, Carrie Rodriguez, Freedy Johnston, Susan Cowsill, Ralph’s World, Buick MacKane, Dumptruck, Glory Fountain, Chip Robinson of the Backsliders, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Chip Taylor.
As a solo artist, Duplantis has released three full length albums—Only Funny the First Time (2004), Colorblind (2006), and In the Other Direction (2015).
Duplantis is also a vocalist, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and a pianist.