Release Date: Jul 12, 2005
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Alt-Country
While there was never much question that Jay Farrar was the guiding light behind Son Volt, he's managed to extinguish any lingering doubts about that issue with Okemah and the Melody of Riot, his first album under the Son Volt handle since 1998's Wide Swing Tremolo. While Okemah sure sounds and feels like a Son Volt album, as it happens Farrar is the only musician in the band's new lineup who had ever played with Son Volt before, which for good or ill firmly establishes him as the sole architect of the group's musical approach. While it's anyone's guess why Farrar turned from his solo career back to the Son Volt format (especially since it's obvious Farrar is the man in charge under either circumstance), whatever the billing the results are impressive -- Okemah and the Melody of Riot is a compelling, strongly focused work that stands as Farrar's best music since Son Volt's debut album, 1994's Trace.