Most people credit former Uncle Tupelo frontman Jay Farrar with creating the genre known variously as alt-country, Americana or No Depression (named for Tupelo's 1990 debut album). Consequently, Farrar has become a spokesman for anything and everything involving the style, even though his subsequent projects have often expanded past the parameters of such definitions. After Tupelo split in 1994, Farrar formed Son Volt while bandmate Jeff Tweedy launched the equally revered Wilco. Although Farrar remains the one constant in the capricious Son Volt lineup, his band has delivered seven albums since its 1995 debut, "Trace," and remains one of the definitive artists of the genre.
"Worst show? I think I can tell you the most precarious show we ever played. It was a gig at a private college outside of Birmingham, Alabama. David Allan Coe was opening the show, and Son Volt was closing the show. We got there and thought, 'Cool, we're going to get to see David Allan Coe. These college kids probably aren't really going to be into it.' We got there a little bit late, and David had started probably about half an hour after we got there. There were already 400 completely drunk kids ready for him. As soon as he started, they went nuts. They sang along to all the songs. After that, we went on. We didn't know if we were gonna survive at that point. ... They didn't boo. But they didn't know all the words like they did to David's songs. ... It was disheartening. But we felt like we'd at least tried to win them over. I think to a certain extent it was a draw. We were just happy it turned out as that."
— Jay Farrar, Son Volt