Son Volt's Jay Farrar on Honky Tonk, Ralph Mooney, Bending the Rules and More

On growing up in the shadow of East St. Louis:

The most lasting memory-related association that I still have with East St. Louis is of my dad and brothers and I taking pieces of cardboard and sliding down a steep ravine of frosty frozen mud (there was no snow) to a creek bed bottom below. This East St. Louisan was laughing all the way down.........

That is the environment I grew up in. We were sandwiched between Belleville and Millstadt. I guess it was a result of my parents being born in the 1930s. My brothers and I were allowed to live in an anachronistic childhood. We were set free. I'm thankful for that now. There were no real restrictions. It was great to get out and use your imagination however you wanted to use it.

Recommended honky-tonk listening (if you can find it; the collection below has gone out of print, though the Mercury compilation Definitive Collection 1955-1962, has some of the same cuts, and can still be readily found):

The Best of George Jones Vol. 1, Hardcore Honky Tonk

Farrar writes by email:

It's songs from the Mercury label from 1955-1962:

- crystalline and spirited vocals

- twin fiddle

- ubiquitous "tick-tack" baritone guitar

- copious amounts of reverb and delay

- quality production (in an era of sketchy production and sonic quality).

See also: -Crotching Whiskey at the Justin Bieber Concert and Getting Thrown Out: A Review

-The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever

-The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

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Mark Herman
Mark Herman

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