Review: Son Volt – Trace (Expanded Edition) (Warner Music Canada)

Son VoltWhen acclaimed group Uncle Tupelo dissolved in the mid-90’s, two stellar bands rose out of its ashes: Wilco and Son Volt. In 1995, both groups released their debut efforts; while Wilco turned in a solid offering with A.M., Son Volt’s Trace is by far the superior record. Reissued here to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its release, Trace captured ​​the very essence of Americana, heard on songs like opening track “Windfall,” the beautiful “Ten Second News,” and an awe-inspiring cover of Ron Wood’s “Mystifies Me.” Son Volt weren’t a one-trick pony by any means, however. Throughout Trace they were not afraid to turn up the electric guitars, delivering tastefully driving tracks like the album’s first single, ”Drown,” “Catching On,” and “Live Free.” This reissue is rounded out by a generous serving of previously unreleased demos as well as an 18-track live show recorded at New York City’s famed Bottom Line in 1996. While Son Volt has yet to capture the same magic as they did on Trace, the album remains one of the most underrated records from the 90’s. You can thank me later.