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American Central Dust (Amazon Exclusive Version)

July 7, 2009 | Format: MP3

$9.49
Also available in CD Format
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2:49
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4:19
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3:10
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4:31
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3:07
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4:25
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3:48
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3:35
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2:57
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4:33
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After several listens, I am placing this record just after Straightaways in my "favorite Son Volt" list. Jay's songwriting is in top form, and they've stripped down the production a bit, which is not a bad thing in my book. My only wish is that they had one more growling rocker; however, the record is still excellent. All the comparisons with Wilco are pointless. Son Volt and Wilco are so far removed from each other now, if we didn't know Jay and Jeff were once in a band together, we wouldn't compare them at all. If you are a SV fan, or just like good rootsy music, don't hesitate and buy this one.
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Son Volt's new album "American Central Dust" is a modern classic and could show Nashville a thing or two about how to play real country music. It says so much with so little, and further proves why Jay Farrar is a musical GENIUS. His band artfully portrays a somber but hopeful view of rural America, its highways, and its industry, and looks deep within themselves to sing about love and relationships. BTW, you won't hear any of the songs on the radio because Jay and company will not go to bed with Clear Channel to compromise the music and sell out.....Radio is afraid of bands like Son Volt.....

Give it a listen....Just Jay's voice, some crying guitar, some steel.....Minimal arrangements, no studio tricks.
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Format: Audio CD
First, I'd pay Jay Farrar a dollar if he quit hanging out with Mark Spencer, a guy who oversaturates every song with unnecessarily bombastic guitar or steel and who pretty much ruined the entire "Live in Seattle" album with freight-train-volume theatrics. Despite having the chops, he flat-out doesn't understand the "less is more" concept when it comes to accompaniment in stark, fragile songs like these. I'd venture to say that this album would have sounded even more Nebraskan (in a good way) if not for his presence, which is pretty obvious if you've ever seen Spencer jam with Farrar onstage. By contrast though is the underrated drumming of Dave Bryson, a guy who makes songs out of skeletons and doesn't need to overplay a thing (but when he does, as in the super fills in "When the Wheels Don't Move", it makes the entire song shake with a forlorn funkiness).

Nonetheless, this here's the "Son Volt" you remember back in the Sigma Kappa days, jamming to "Drown" at the beer bust, thinking you stumbled on the best band in America at midnight at Rocky's Pub somewhere in a beer-soaked room with everyone talking and five people playing music that sounded like a history lesson set to scratchy library Folkways records. Listen to the depth in "Down to the Wire", "No Turning Back", and "Pushed Too Far", three of the best songs to come out of Jay in years, and you're certain you had a nightmare that he tried to "go global" with a bad horn section and doctrinaire lyrics like "war is profit and profit is war". Fact is, this music is the relaxed, direct urgency we'd expect from a guy who has always been comfortable in this landscape, whose desire to "see the world" in other forms would always land him right back here anyway. Jay in a spacesuit didn't mean much to me; Jay in overalls does it every time.

Bonus points for the vibey song "Jukebox of Steel", with bold imagery to boot. It's his best sounding song since "Gather".
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I never get tired of Son Volt- Jay Farrar and any of his incarnations. Unique in a way of presentation and songwriting, he offers music nearly too challenging to be considered mere entertainment, but history, philosophy, or just deeply cutting observations. Even though at times his voice can strike me as monotonous, nasal and vaguely irritating, it never bothers me and what he has to say is so important and so well executed it rises beyond any issues I may have with his music. And in fact. I have none, a;though even now I am having a hard time keeping some of these tunes out of my mind as I try to write. And not just earworms, his songs intellect-rousing works of art. For example"Sultana" reminded me of the greater picture that was and remains the greatest American maritime disaster ever, and made me want to know more. He is more than an entertainer, much more- he is a spellbinding songwriter and an educator.

The first song of his I remember hearing was "Medication, happened to be while I was doing my own 28 days, and it became nearly anthemic: Put it on loop, and I have never looked back.
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I was at a life changing crossroads when I fist got Trace and quite frankly put as much faith in the words of Jay's first three son volt albums as I do the 3 main gosphels in the new testemant and that is how powerful those albums are. This is along the the lines of Straightaways and is very good. And even though he and jeff Tweedy were the driving forces behind Uncle Tupelo, you will never hear one critic utter the name of Jay Farrar or SonVolt. Shameful.
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I think Uncle Tupelo was the prototype for alterna-country rock music. A form of Americana if you will.
Jay Farrer could be considered the godfather in creating this type of sound. He simply built upon the past from artists such as Gram Parsons etc.. and added in a modern punk type edge.
After UT broke up he started Son Volt and made a masterpiece with their debut Trace.
After that SV has been hit and miss until this record. Great Americana.
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