Son of a gun!

Folk-country guitarist, Jay Farrar, to take on the Turf Club sans Son Volt.

Love him or hate him, Jay Farrars ready to impress us all solo at the Turf Club.

Image by Photo courtesy Josh Cheuse

Love him or hate him, Jay Farrar’s ready to impress us all solo at the Turf Club.

by Sally Hedberg

What: Jay Farrar

When: Nov. 5

Where: Turf Club

Cost: $16


In America, 20-some years ago, a group of kids made a permanent and rebellious musical mark. They defied the norms of popularity and boldly strummed into a genre where even the most brazen of punk rockers would not dare or care go: Country.

Their band was called Uncle Tupelo, and for a few years, content in their new creation of alternative country music, they did well. However, in an infamous feud, tensions between leading men Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy led Farrar to quit the band, thereby forcing its untimely destruction. Both sticking to their country-influenced guns in whatâÄôs been the great rock âÄònâÄô roll duel of our time, Tweedy started a certain Wilco, and Farrar organized the less-successful Son Volt.

Jay Farrar, though, is a restless man. After coming off a busy couple years that were filled with both a Son Volt album and a collaborative effort with Ben Gibbard on the soundtrack of the Jack Kerouac documentary, âÄúOne Fast Move or IâÄôm Gone,âÄù heâÄôs ready for a solo tour and coincidentally, to play in Minneapolis.

âÄúI guess the case and point for the current time period would be that I want to explore something different right now,âÄù said Farrar. âÄúThe pendulum is kind of swinging in more of a folk direction.âÄù

While the musician is embarking on this solo journey, the makings of a full album havenâÄôt been completely formed yet. HeâÄôs in the early stages of writing, but not completely sure of the direction that it will take him. Farrar is certain, though, that he appreciates time on his own.

âÄúIâÄôve been releasing albums with Son Volt for the last almost five years,âÄù Farrar said. âÄúI seem to fall into something that parallels what used to happen in communist countries where they would go on five-year work plans. So, I feel like IâÄôm ready to do more solo stuff right now.âÄù

Influenced by the likes of Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and Joan Baez, Farrar seeks to listen to as much fundamental roots music as he can, something that undoubtedly translates into the creation of his own tunes.

âÄúItâÄôs not even so much listening to that stuff,âÄù Farrar said. âÄúIt percolates all the time, and when I pick up a guitar, thatâÄôs just where I want to go.âÄù

Having played in such a significant group and projecting an extensive and intelligent respect for all of the artists who took the stage before him, itâÄôs difficult to picture such a petty feud holding such a lasting power over Farrar. But some things just canâÄôt be helped. Musicheads wonâÄôt be privileged to an Uncle Tupelo reunion show any time soon.

âÄúIt was about the time and the place,âÄù Farrar said. âÄúPeople want to see a reunion for nostalgia purposes. From my perspective, I donâÄôt want to ever see that happen.âÄù