Uncle Tupelo - March 16-20, 1992 [Remastered]
For my first post in this thread I am going with a cd from the Alt Country category - Uncle Tupleo's March 16-20, 1992 [remastered version]. This remastered version is significantly better than the original in all respects and should be the only version one listens to. While Uncle Tupelo's lifespan was relatively short (only 5 albums over a 3+ year span), Jeff Tweedy went on to form Wilco and Jay Faarar formed Son Volt.
This is my favorite Uncle Tupleo cd and is basically an all-acoustic album. Being all-acoustic, it really plays into the strengths of the Alinco Hemp drivers and the Atma-Sphere M-60's. The texture and nuance that one hears when listening to 6 and 12 string guitars, banjo, mandolin, and pedal steel guitar is nothing short of orgasmic! Jay and Jeff sing with an angst and edge that is befitting the overall mood and focus of the album.
While there are no clunkers on this cd, a few tracks really standout for me and are always heavy in the rotation or part of my test songs when evaluating new gear:Grindstone:
From the opening guitar play, to Jay's vocals, to the light brush work throughout, this is great song.Colaminers:
Listen to these lyrics and the guitar work and be transported back to a different era. Every time I listen to this song, it immediately conjures images and puts me into the recording session.Shaky Ground:
Guitars, guitars, guitars...feel and see each pluck of the strings...texture, texture, texture...leading edge is sharp at first and fades into the body of the note.Black Eye:
Probably my favorite song on the cd. Jeff sings this one and between his honest and open vocals and the rhythmic/hypnotic guitar play, this song always commands my full attention. Short but powerful.Moonshiner:
Back to Jay singing on this one. Besides the great guitar work, enjoy Jay's harmonica play as it comes across with the right mixture of bite and edge.Fatal Wound:
Jeff sung and wrote this one and man is it good! Might be the best written song on the cd - definitely pay attention to the lyrics! Listen to the way Jeff's and Jay's guitars are intertwined, while in the background there is a haunting violin that is just sooo right. Sandusky:
Great instrumental featuring guitar, pedal steel guitar, and banjo. Everything flows and fits together perfectly.
Highly recommended for anybody who wants to hear what Alt Country or really good music is about.