Terroir Blues (CD)


Jay Farrar

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 12/14/2010

The second solo release from the ex-Uncle Tupelo founder came between his stints at the helm of two different versions of Son Volt, and continued Farrar’s trend toward both more experimental and folk-based fare. The first hint comes with the opener, “No Rolling Back,” a mid-tempo, slightly distorted folk song whose verses decry our headlong rush toward whatever it is that constitutes progress these days. You could still be in Son Volt I territory, though, until you get to the backward masking of “Space Junk 1,” the first of a half-dozen instrumental tracks inspired by the Beatles’ Revolver that pockmark the disc like wayward studio experiments and work mostly as momentum-killers. Too bad, too, because there are vintage Farrar road warrior laments (“Out on the Road,” “California”) and pedal steel twang classics (“All of Your Might,” “Dent County”), as well as a couple of more experimental tracks that actually work, like the strings-augmented “Cahokian,” a parable about the lost tribes responsible for the burial mounds that litter Farrar’s native St. Louis region without most people ever knowing. But other tracks shoot for that same psychedelic-flavored vibe and fall flat, such as the sitar-and-synth-flavored “Fool King’s Crown,” while others seem to circle a hook without ever landing or adding much else to the equation, like the 12-string-slide of “Walk You Down” and the distorted vocal take of “Hard Is the Fall.” Speaking of that song, Farrar included second versions of some songs, including “Hard Is the Fall II” and “No Rolling Back II,” each stripped of any effects and far more effecting for it. That more than anything suggests just how transitional this record was, and how unsure Farrar may have been about the change.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
No Rolling Back
Jay Farrar 03:05
2.
Space Junk I
Jay Farrar 00:52
3.
Hard Is The Fall
Jay Farrar 02:32
4.
Fool King's Crown
Jay Farrar 02:23
5.
Space Junk II
Jay Farrar 00:35
6.
Hanging On To You
Jay Farrar 02:51
7.
Cahokian
Jay Farrar 04:33
8.
Heart On The Ground
Jay Farrar 04:20
9.
Out On The Road
Jay Farrar 04:57
10.
All Of Your Might
Jay Farrar 03:47
11.
Space Junk III
Jay Farrar 00:37
12.
California
Jay Farrar 04:20
13.
Walk You Down
Jay Farrar 02:21
14.
Space Junk IV
Jay Farrar 00:35
15.
Dent County
Jay Farrar 03:53
16.
Fish Fingers Norway
Jay Farrar 02:09
17.
Space Junk V
Jay Farrar 00:30
18.
Hanging On To You II
Jay Farrar 02:43
19.
Hard Is The Fall II
Jay Farrar 02:30
20.
Jam
Jay Farrar 00:41
21.
Heart On The Ground II
Jay Farrar 04:39
22.
No Rolling Back II
Jay Farrar 03:14
23.
Space Junk VI
Jay Farrar 00:55

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