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Jay Farrar

Biography

Farrar founded and fronted Uncle Tupelo the seminal Alt Country act whose critically acclaimed 1990 debut, No Depression, spawned a movement that made country music cool to indie kids. A rift with co-founder Jeff Tweedy caused the band to split; Tweedy formed Wilco (eventually moving away from anything resembling the Alt Country sound), while Farrar continued to mix crunchy, heartland-inspired rock with weepy, twang-toned ditties in Son Volt. Though he experimented with different sonic textures and Hawaiian slack-key tunings, his warm, hushed drawl always kept an Americana flavor. After three albums and a two-year hiatus from Son Volt, Farrar pushed his signature sound a bit further on solo works that drew on a wide range of collaborators: Jon Wurster (drummer for Superchunk); traditional country gospel rockers Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch; Brian Henneman (Bottle Rockets); Blood Oranges' guitarist Mark Spencer; and Flaming Lips keyboard player Steven Drozd. His solo works echo his past recordings with hearty nods to the Crazy Horse crunch. Farrar also formed his own indie label, Act/Resist and scored the independent film The Slaughter Rule.
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