Alt-country pioneers Son Volt offer insightful commentary on income inequality in “The 99.” The newly unveiled single appears on the band’s upcoming album Union, which will be released on March 29th.
Calling back the amplified sound of Son Volt’s early efforts, including 1995’s landmark album Trace, the new track is a dusty Heartland rocker punctuated by a gritty closing guitar solo. Lyrically, singer Jay Farrar is in protest mode, giving a voice to those struggling to make ends meet with chant-worthy lines like, “Already spent, already spent. No way to get ahead ‘cause it’s already spent.”
Similarly topical issues are covered throughout the politically driven Union. Inspired by his admiration of folk singer Woody Guthrie and labor activist Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, Farrar and the band recorded portions of the 13-track album at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Mother Jones Museum in Mount Olive, Illinois, accordingly.
“A lot of these songs are songs of turmoil,” Farrar said in a release. “Questioning what’s going on.”
Son Volt will launch a headlining tour in support of Union in Columbia, Missouri, on April 18th. The band will also open for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 20th.