By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
"I had no idea what Jay was going to do before going in to the studio," Duplantis says, "and I prefer it that way. Jay is very organic; he allows us to play what feels natural. He allows things to happen the way they will. When it happens the way it's supposed to, then it is perfect."
Farrar agrees. "I think it's more of an intuitive process when we get together. The fact that everyone has been in a lot of different band situations, just having that experience to draw from makes the process more fluid."
You could call it a Zen approach to the contemporary facts of rock & roll the cover of The Search features a Buddha in a cage of video cameras or just a way to make the best of necessity. Either way, Son Volt has come to reflect the contingency we all face. A person, a band, a country can search forever and nobody can say what you'll find, or who or what you'll become along the way.
Farrar has taken his departed guitarist's advice and signed up Chris Masterson (of wannabe-country-star Jack Ingram's band) to play lead, and for the two-month tour, Son Volt will pick up horn sections where and when they can. "Maybe we'll call 1-800-Horns Across America," Farrar quips. He's been touring for close to twenty years, and the longest he's been away from the road is three, maybe four, months. He's in a rock & roll band, after all, as much as it's in him.
"It's more of a lifestyle, a calling," he says. "I do find that when I spend time away from it, a pressure builds up, and when I either get back on the road or into a period of writing a lot, it has a cathartic effect. It's pretty necessary for me at this point to keep doing it."
8 p.m. Saturday, April 21. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $20. 314-726-6161.