Son Volt playing at Wakarusa in 2005
|Origin||Belleville, IL, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, alternative country, blues, Americana.|
Warner Bros. Nashville
|Associated acts||Uncle Tupelo, Blood Oranges|
|Past members||Mike Heidorn|
The group formed after Farrar met Jim and Dave Boquist during the final Uncle Tupelo tour. Together with former Uncle Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn, the band rehearsed and recorded in the Minneapolis area in late 1994. The group performed its first concert at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on June 16, 1995. While half of the band was rooted in the Minneapolis area, Farrar and Heidorn lived in the St. Louis area, and the band used both cities as bases for its operations during the first couple of years.
Son Volt's first album, Trace, met with critical acclaim and topped many "best-of" lists in 1995, despite not being a large commercial success. Two follow-up albums (1997's Straightaways and 1998's Wide Swing Tremolo) continued in the same vein. A Retrospective: 1995-2000, released in 2005, gathered highlights from this era, along with previously unreleased recordings.
Hiatus and return
Farrar announced a hiatus from Son Volt after their 1999 tour. Beginning in 2001, Jay Farrar released several solo efforts that postponed further releases from Son Volt. Farrar reformed with the original members of Son Volt to record a song for a tribute album for Alejandro Escovedo. The sessions reportedly went so well that Farrar and the other band members intended to record once again in the autumn of 2004. Just prior to the sessions, however, Farrar and the other band members abruptly ended negotiations. Farrar formed a new version of the band with a different line-up and released an album on Transmit Sound/Sony Legacy, Okemah and the Melody of Riot, in 2005. 2006 saw the release of a live DVD, Six String Belief, which was recorded at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. In 2007 the band released a studio album called The Search. American Central Dust followed, released by Rounder Records on July 7, 2009. Honky Tonk was released March 5, 2013 also by Rounder Records. A large scale tour followed the release of the album. On February 17, 2017, the band released Notes of Blue on Farrar's label, Transmit Sound.
The band's ninth studio album, Union, was released on March 28, 2019 on Farrar's Transmit Music label and distributed by Thirty Tigers Records. 
Son Volt's music ranges from quiet folk/country ballads reminiscent of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, to barhouse rockers in the spirit of Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Reviews refer to the band as alternative country pioneers, a "staple in the ALT-Country Scene" or "a cult favorite", with their music "spanning a few musical niches", but based in Americana.
- Jay Farrar (guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals), formerly of Uncle Tupelo
- Mark Patterson (drums)
- Chris Frame (guitar)
- Mark Spencer (keyboards, steel guitar, bass), formerly of Blood Oranges
- Andrew Duplantis (bass guitar)
- Mike Heidorn (drums), formerly of Uncle Tupelo (Original member of Son Volt)
- Dave Boquist (banjo, fiddle, guitar, lap steel) (Original member of Son Volt)
- Jim Boquist (bass guitar, backing vocals) (Original member of Son Volt)
- Eric Heywood (mandolin, pedal steel)
- Brad Rice (guitar on Okemah and the Melody of Riot, The Search)
- Derry deBorja (keyboards on The Search)
- Chris Masterson (guitar on American Central Dust)
- Gary Hunt (guitar, mandolin, steel guitar on Honky Tonk)
- Dave Bryson (drums on Okemah and the Melody of Riot, The Search, American Central Dust, Honky Tonk)
- Jason Kardong (pedal steel on Notes of Blue)
- Jacob Edwards (drums on Notes of Blue)
|1998||Wide Swing Tremolo||93||-||Warner Bros.|
|2005||Okemah and the Melody of Riot||89||-||Transmit Sounds|
|2007||The Search||81||-||Transmit Sounds|
|2009||American Central Dust||44||-||Rounder Records|
|2013||Honky Tonk||67||-||Rounder Records|
|2017||Notes of Blue||-||-||Thirty Tigers Records|
|2019||Union||-||5||Thirty Tigers Records|
- A Retrospective: 1995-2000 (2005), Warner Bros. Records/Rhino
- Jake Brown. "Son Volt Reforms and Returns to the Studio". Glorious Noise. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
- Author Interviews. "Son Volt Is Back: 'Okemah and the Melody of Riot' : World Cafe". NPR. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
- "Official Son Volt site". SonVolt.net. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
- "Son Volt to Release 9th Studio Album, "Union" on 3/29". Music News Net.
- Stewart, M (2017)."Alt-Country Pioneers Son Volt Hit Stride at D.C.’s 9:30 Club"Live Music Daily
- Remz, J.B (2019). "Son Volt does it with music",Country Standard Time
- Armstrong, C (2019). "Son Volt, ‘Reality Winner’ [Exclusive Premiere]", the Boot
- Obenschain, P (2019). "REMINDER Don’t Miss Son Volt w/ Old Salt Union | TONIGHT @ The Basement East",No Country for New Nashville]
- Brock Thiessen. "Son Volt Return with New Album 'Notes of Blue'". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
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