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Okemah & The Melody of Riot

Son VoltAudio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Price: $9.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2005 $9.99  
Audio CD, Dual Disc, 2005 $19.88  
Audio CD, 2005 $9.89  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000AMWJ0C
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,323 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Bandages & Scars
2. Afterglow 61
3. Jet Pilot
4. Atmosphere
5. Ipecac
6. Who
7. Endless War
8. Medication
9. 6 String Belief
10. Gramophone
11. Chaos Streams
12. World Waits for You
13. World Waits for You (Reprise)

Editorial Reviews

on Volt's Okemah and the Melody of Riot is the first new album in seven years from Jay Farrar's Son Volt. Anchored by Farrar's songwriting and propelled by a renewed rock and roll aesthetic catalyzed by a cast of new players, Son Volt's Okemah and the Melody of Riot was produced by Farrar himself. Sony. 2005.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody, Neil and Jay July 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I am still reeling from the one-two punch of seeing Son Volt live at the "WXPN All About the Music Festival" in Camden, NJ this weekend, then coming home and listening to their new CD. It's a passionate, heartfelt-from-the-heartland, politically-charged, inspired work of roots-rock. Jay Farrar has put together an all-new band (and apparently, even since the recording sessions, Chris Frame has replaced Brad Rice as lead guitarist). There is definitely more of a rock than an alt-country edge to this record, which may put off some long-time fans, but personally I think they've never sounded better. It's hard to pick highlights on such a solidly fine recording - it bolts from the gate with "Bandages and Scars" and never lets down from there. "Afterglow 61", "Jet Pilot" and "Gramophone" are probably the very best of the rest. Then there's "Medication", an Eastern-tinged tune and as close to a progressive departure as the album takes. I wished the song were longer, after hearing an incredible extended live performance of it at the festival, and Jay's mesmerizing solo acoustic version on the DVD side of this disc. (The DVD side of this "Dual-Disc", by the way, is also very good, with a documentary about Farrar's reforming of the band, interspersed with live performances, including "Joe Citizen's Blues", which should have been included on the audio CD.)

Farrar admits to Woody Guthrie as a major inspiration, but Neil Young is another obvious influence. Since Uncle Tupelo's breakup, Jeff Tweedy has led Wilco down an increasingly adventurous path (sometimes self-consciously so), while Jay Farrar has stayed the course with Son Volt's sound. And I have to admit, I'm enjoying this CD more than I did the last Wilco release, "A Ghost Is Born". Son Volt aims for the heart more than the head, and this time they've hit a bulls-eye.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Okemah and the Melody of Riot is an incredible album - and not just because it sounds great. It's a record that feels important. There are big issues at play here, world affairs to discuss. The legacy of Woody Guthrie to continue. But it's also a record of hope and a record of simple, American pleasures - a music and history lesson as you drive down Highway 61, the magic of vinyl records, the redemptive power of music.

Musically, this album rocks. Fantastic electric guitar work from Farrar and Brad Rice on Bandages and Scars, Afterglow 61, Who, Jet Pilot, Endless War, Six String Belief, Chaos Streams. Atmosphere features the tempo changes Farrar used to great effect in Uncle Tupelo. But Okemah is not just a collection of rock songs. Gramophone is simply gorgeous with a rich sound - organ and guitar complimenting Farrar's harmonica until the killer ending guitar solo. Medication has an Eastern feel with slide dulcimer and alternate tunings. Ipecac is a great change of pace song in the middle of the album. World Waits For You starts out with Farrar's piano alongside pedal steel guitar before the whole band fleshes it out in the reprise.

The lyrics take this album to the next level. Okemah is of course Woody Guthrie's hometown and Farrar references him by name in the album's opener. It's clear Farrar has been "doing a lot of thinking" about the world, the country and music. This album is cohesive - I'd almost call it a concept album but that brings to mind Pink Floyd or something and it's not exactly in that vein. Jet Pilot takes a poke at our current Commander In Chief specifically and privileged leaders in general. In Endless War, Farrar wonders how another wrong makes a right.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form July 12, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is the record that fans had hoped Jay Farrar would record in the near future. But also, I think most of Jay's fans would admit, there remained some unspoken but palpable doubt that Farrar had this type of record left in him. After two good-but-not-great solo albums, I had begun to fear that Farrar had reached a point in his career that made the old Son Volt sound a thing of the past, irrecoverable to the artist who had crafted it. But Jay has made a return to form with 'Okemah,' and some of his brilliant career's brightest moments are right here on this disc. The first four tracks amount to one of the most powerful openings of any record I've heard. From the opening strumming of "Bandages and Scars" it becomes clear that this is the loudest Farrar has played since Uncle Tupelo's 'Still Feel Gone' record 14 years ago. "Afterglow 61" is American rock 'n' roll at its finest, and the voice in the song is as distinctly American as those Farrar references in the song: Mark Twain, Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly), and Bob Dylan. Farrar's apocalyptic view of the world, inspired by his displeasure with the Bush administration, is clear from the beginning of 'Okemah,' and he takes direct aim at "Junior" as he calls W in the rocking "Jet Pilot," which features a soft, electric guitar riff as gripping as anything Son Volt has recorded to date. The driving tempo and dusty guitars of "Atmosphere" calls to mind 'Straightaways' "Cemetary Savior" and "Left A Slide," and the chorus in "Atmosphere" features a classic Farrar melody that will give the Farrar faithful welcome chills. "6 String Belief," which many have heard on a previous Jay Farrar solo live recording, is juiced up and electrified, making an already good song great with blistering lead guitar. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music. No problem with ripping to itunes
I normally avoid copy protected CD's but really wanted a copy of this CD so went ahead and got a copy with the thought that I probably would not be able to create any digital... Read more
Published 8 months ago by guzzix2
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless!
This is great music but this CD is literally worthless! That is because it will not play on any CD player I tried it with; home stereo system, car, boombox and my buddy's home... Read more
Published 23 months ago by BearBoy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great CD!
Another gem for Jay F and company. If you are a Son Volt fan...buy this CD, you will not be disappointed.
Published on November 8, 2011 by johnc_3001
4.0 out of 5 stars "Rock and Roll Around My Head Like a Six String Belief"
After a seven year hiatus, Jay Farrar revived Son Volt, albeit with a completely revamped lineup. The players might be different, but Farrar's world-weary voice and penchant for... Read more
Published on September 30, 2010 by Jack Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Jay Farrar comes back with a vengeance.
In the 7 year gap between this album and the last Son Volt album, Wide Swing Tremolo, a lot has happened to main singer and songwriter Jay Farrar. Read more
Published on July 8, 2010 by Parkansky
5.0 out of 5 stars a Slow Burning Kick In the Head - Classic Son Volt
A long time listening and a rebirth of what was and wasn't.
This may very well be the best Son Volt album ever. Read more
Published on May 22, 2009 by Willie Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars a Slow Burning Kick In The Head then Release - Classic SV
A long time listening and a rebirth of what was and wasn't.
This may very well be the best Son Volt album ever. Read more
Published on April 30, 2009 by Willie Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Rate the music, please!
I think it's extremely unfair to write bad reviews on this album because "it is copy protected" or "don't play on my computer". Read more
Published on December 26, 2007 by Kowalsky The Sailorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Rate the MUSIC, people
Never in my life have I encountered such a concentrated collection of spoiled crybabies in one place, as I have found here on the Amazon reviews for OKEMAH. Read more
Published on October 10, 2007 by Jon Quixote
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what they once were, but still better than the rest
This is a fine album by a fine band. The orginal incarnation was a great band. Trace, in particular, was a transcendent ablum. Read more
Published on March 16, 2007 by Daniel W. Bleier
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