1995 Revisited

Wow, spooky -- that Alison Krauss compilation was what got me hooked, too! I heard "Oh Atlanta" on a public radio station and loved it (it helped that I grew up in Atlanta and heard the song while homesick during my freshman year of college out of state), then bought the album, then bought all her albums, then bought a bunch of other albums by other people in all sorts of Americana and Americana-adjacent genres, and, well, now here we are. P.S. Like you, I'm Son Volt with Wilco leanings. But unlike you, I'm firmly Stones.

Faithless Street (Whiskeytown) and Train A Comin' (Steve Earle) would be my two favorite albums from 1995.

Son Volt and Stones.   

Great piece, Mando, a quick snapshot of what a certain corner of the musical world was like when No Depression took that leap of faith that underneath those different Grammy categories, commercial charts, and radio formats, was some unifying thing, and this thing had an audience that would buy a magazine about it. (Me, I was still poking around the Dylan, Neil Young, Springsteen thing, still pretty much a rock-songwriter guy with an unnatural interest in roots music history, getting myself ready for the one-two punch of El Corazon and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road that has set my course ever since.)

Going by memory and then checking my dates, my favorites of 1995 were Trace (Windfall alone, an instant classic, was worth the price of the record), and John Prine's Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings.  

Son Volt for sure.  I don't hate Wilco, mostly I don't get them, and I've tried.  Recall looking forward to Wilco's A.M., finally hearing it, and wondering how the hell something so dull start to finish came from one of the Uncle Tupelo guys.  I thought Being There would've made a really good record if half as long, I Got You was a terrific song.  The Jay Bennett years I thought were their most interesting.  Son Volt put out pretty much the same record a few times, there's a sameness to their work. Seems like Son Volt has had more great moments and I'd guess Wilco has made a lot more money, not a bad thing.

Beatles and Stones.              








In '95 I was living in Hillsborough NC when found Chip Robinson and the Backsliders. Before their first release. Still one of the best "live" bands I've ever heard. They turned me onto this Alt-Country "whatever that is" music. Locally there were also 6 String Drag, Whiskeytown, Two Dollar Pistols and so many others. What a wonderful time to live in the Triangle area. Didn't come across No Depression magazine until I moved to Texas in Jan '97. When I picked the magazine up for an article on .....  the Backsliders. With that first dabble into ND I found Son Volt, backtracked to Uncle Tupelo and the dam broke open. Now about the only music I buy is "Alt-Country" flavored.

And I'm a Son Volt guy with Wilco leanings myself.

Ah, yes. Wrecking Ball. It also included Anna McGarrigle's "Goin' Back to Harlan," which Kate and Anna would record on Matapedia, released in 1996.

Hmm, thinking about joining the Wilco club after reading that they canceled their concert in Indiana. Kudus to Tweedy!

"We're canceling our 5/7 show in Indianapolis. “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act” feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination."

Much as I may hope their heart is in the right place, I am not so big on Wilco cancelling Indiana shows; it would be much more effective for Tweedy to berate from the stage in Indiana and to honor the good folks in Indiana to continue playing there. 

That would be cool too. So many corporations have spoken up but so few artists.


I'm sure Steve Earle musta said something ;).

Among Lanois' Wrecking Ball, which I consider to be tied for greatest album of all time, Trace, Train a Comin', and Car Wheels, etc., 1995 was indeed a high point in the genre, whatever it is, for me. However, being tied up with things corporate, a six-year-old, the death of my dad and the failing health of my mom, I didn't realize what a great year it was until the next century. Oh and as much as I love Uncle Tupelo, I'm a Farrar/Son Volt guy, really don't even feel like trying to figure out Tweedy.