On Friday, veteran alt-country outfit Son Volt will release Notes Of Blue, their eighth and latest. If that day couldn’t come soon enough, you’re in luck, because you can stream it now over at NPR as part of their First Listen series. I don’t want to reveal too much right away, but SPOILER ALERT: It’s good.
Notes Of Blue clocks in at a lean thirty minutes, meaning this thing is completely devoid of the filler that plagues so many albums these days. Too often, modern artists have tended towards bloated releases full of interludes and half-formed ideas, but none of that shows up here. This a fully-realized, richly-arranged work of rock and country, and the experience of its players shows. Whether it’s the delicately sung and strummed balladry of tracks like “The Storm” and “Cairo and Southern” or the righteous, hard-rocking slide guitar on “Static” and “Sinking Down”, Son Volt covers a variety of moods while maintaining the worn earthiness that defines their sound. Continue reading →