A fun way and a good excuse to travel is by following your favorite band around the country or even for a show or two in another town. One time I planned a road trip around the group Son Volt. I guess that makes me a Son Volt head.
They had reformed under lead singer Jay Farrar after a long hiatus although none of the original members besides Jay were in on the reunion. Unfortunately, they were not making any stops on the current leg of the tour in Chicago. They were playing not too far south in Arkansas and Missouri.
I happened to have a cousin who lives in Little Rock. I emailed him and asked him if he minded if I stopped by for a visit. He told me in true southern hospitality to come on down.
I drove south for a wonderful weekend. I got down there on Saturday morning. My cousin informed me that he worked at the venue where Son Volt was performing. Juanita’s was where they played, and it doubled as a Mexican Restaurant and a music venue.
We arrived an hour early and we enjoyed some enchiladas and guacamole and perhaps a margarita or two. After dinner we made our way to the concert area. The bouncer knew my cousin, and we skirted past the ticket booth and enjoyed the show for free.
It was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. I have seen the group many times since, and they have never played such an awesome set list. Despite the fact that none of the original members joined the reunion, Jay made up for it with an awesome group of musicians led by Jay himself of course and lead guitarist Brad Rice, formerly from the Ryan Adams led Whiskeytown.
My cousin is also a very talented musician. He plays bass in a local band, and they just happened to be playing live in a local bar the next night. I could not believe my luck. His band was just as impressive as Son Volt and played an amazing set list including an incredible rendition of the Band’s and Johnny Cash’s “Long Black Veil.” A version of which I play on my guitar quite frequently.
Son Volt live at the concert I saw them at on the way home in Columbia, Missouri
After a great weekend in Little Rock, I moved north to Columbia, Missouri for another show with Son Volt. They played in this old theater that resembled an old factory. There were less than a two hundred people at the show, and I situated myself in the front row. On the way to show, I visited my dear Aunt Ruby in Mountain Home, Arkansas. It was a fantastic weekend that featured being out on the road, great music, and family.
Son Volt recently played in Chicago. Seeing them on my home turf brought back memories of my road trip south and being a Son Volt head. I have also seen them at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo as well as a Chicago appearance a few years ago.
The Grateful Dead was a group famous for a loyal fan base that followed them on tour. Have you ever been a Deadhead or a follower of another band on tour?
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Any excuse for a road trip!!! I’ve been doing the colour run road trips, but following music would be fun too! Even better when you get to catch up with friends and family! Hope you make it on the Keski roadtrip this winter – would be great to catch up again!
Anita Mac recently posted..Adventures with Explorers’ Edge – quintessentials of the Canadian wilderness
Exactly! Any excuse for a road trip is a good one. I definitely will be up in Quebec in February. Look forward to it.
You know how I feel about Son Volt!!! I remember you telling me about this road trip and what great memories it holds for you… I think Jay and his music have something to do with the sentimentality, as well. He’s a one-of-a-kind.
Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..Delta Chelsea, meet Eaton Chelsea: Changes at Canada’s largest hotel
It was a perfect weekend with family and Jay.
Believe it or not, I am not a Deadhead. However, I do know its a great experience to get to see bands at a smaller show with less of a crowd! Margaritas and front row- sounds like you had a great road trip!
lola dimarco recently posted..One Day Stay: Barcelona, Spain
I am not surprised that you are not a Deadhead although Lola and the spirit of the Dead do share some similar characteristics in regards to being free spirited and liking to party.
I’ve never heard of this band, but I think I’ll check them out. They must be pretty good for you to drive that far. And let me ask, is your cousin a giant?
Leah Travels recently posted..Getting Medieval in Costa Brava, Spain
Unfortunately, I cannot find any pictures from this road trip as it was pre-blogging. The picture of me and the giant is from my recent experience a couple of weeks ago seeing Son Volt in Chicago with my friend Jim. Yes, Jim is a giant standing at 6’6.
Ted, it’s a small world that you have family in Arkansas. I’m originally from Conway and have family all over the central part of the state. I haven’t been to Juanita’s for a show, but it seems like pretty big bands play there a lot. I’ve actually seen bands list Juanita’s in Little Rock and not even come to Memphis. It’s been years since I’ve thought about Son Volt. I loved them in college, though. And bands I’ll travel to see? Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit would be the closest. He was a fraternity brother of mine at Memphis and is actually finding a lot of success in music now. Check him out if you’re not familiar. I think a Son Volt fan would be a fan of Isbell.
Lance recently posted..Going With the Flow at Bonnaroo
My other cousin went to school in Conway with Scottie Pippen, and I once spent a long weekend down there staying in her apartment.
I think Spotify agrees with your assessment about Jason Isbell and Son Volt. I listen quite frequently to a Son Volt channel, and Spotify feeds me many tunes by Jason Isbell. As soon as I first heard him I recognized his voice from his days in the Drive-by-Truckers. I enjoy his voice and his tunes. Very cool you are a fraternity brother of his. Where did you go to college and what fraternity?
Margaritas and an intimate concert – sounds like a great combo and a fun road trip!
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My hOtel: Finca Cortesin, Spain @fincacortesin
Margaritas and anything usually make for a good mix.
I’ve never heard of Son Volt, but sounds like a great time. Anytime travel, music, and few drinks combine, you can’t go wrong. Free admission doesn’t hurt either. I did make it to a bunch of Grateful Dead shows all over the place. Traveling to a concert or festival always makes for a fun experience.
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