Son Volt: Live From Austin, TX

New West Records

With all of the hullabaloo over Wilco, it seems that Son Volt—the other band to rise from the ashes of seminal alt-country band Uncle Tupelo—has been forgotten. Ironic, because the band’s debut album, Trace, was rightly regarded as an instant classic upon its release in 1995, while Wilco’s was largely dismissed. After two more albums, Son Volt broke up, recently reforming with three (out of four) new members—an incarnation that one wag blogger has dubbed “One Volt.” If you never had a chance to see the original line-up, you owe it yourself to pick up this DVD of the band’s 1996 performance on Austin City Limits. In retrospect, the chorus of the opening song, “Route,” seems oddly prophetic: “We’re all living proof that nothing lasts.” The DVD showcases what is most sorely missing from the current lineup: multi-instrumentalist Jim Boquist, who at various points picks up the guitar, banjo and fiddle. The songs “Windfall,” “Route” and “Tear Stained Eye” will make you ache for a full tank of gas, a summer day and the open road. As frontman Jay Farrar sings in “Windfall”: “Sounds like 1963 / but for now / sounds like heaven.”