Sunday, February 22, 2004

JAY FARRAR Interview: Using the Beatles and Neil Young

Jay Farrar

From San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jane Ganahl interview with "the minstrel of alt-country" Jay Farrar:

"Of the latest, 'Terroir Blues,' he notes, 'I was using two albums that I like, (Neil Young's) 'Tonight's the Night' and (the Beatles') 'Revolver,' as touchstones.' "

"I don't think in terms of owing the fans something, although you can't just act like what you've done in the past doesn't exist. I just try to find the songs that still mean something to me, that I can maintain a connection to. But most people seem pretty willing to go along with the new stuff."

There are also pointed references in his recent release to the "Fool King's Crown" of current popular culture, as well as our wars for oil -- "21st century blood."

"I notice that when a government is conservative, that stuff has to bubble up," he says grimly. "It's not like I want to be a political songwriter, but it's hard to think about those issues and not have them find their way into my writing."

"Live in Seattle," Jay Farrar's new album, will be released next week by download only, through The download will feature 15 songs from "Sebastopol," "ThirdShiftGrottoSlack," "The Slaughter Rule" soundtrack and "Terroir Blues," plus a version of Townes Van Zandt's "White Freightliner Blues." Backing Farrar are Eric Heywood of Son Volt and Mark Spencer of Blood Oranges. Another live album, this time in CD format, will also be released, tentatively in May, of Farrar's tour with Canyon. "

More at San Francisco Chronicle.


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