Having been raised listening to the likes of George Jones, Conway Twitty and Elvis, I love country music. Add in some rock and roll overtones and I love it even more. When I first heard Uncle Tupelo (above) in my late teens, it was like hearing Fugazi the first time — my tastes changed. Nearly 20 years later, a lot of bands and styles of music I’ve enjoyed have come and gone, but my appreciation of alt country (for lack of better term) has only grown stronger as I’ve grown older. So here are five alt country (again… for lack of better term) albums I love and listen to way too often.
Uncle Tupelo – Anodyne
Obviously… Uncle Tupelo basically created ‘alt country’ but this is the album that spearheaded my interest in the style. It also introduced me to…
Doug Sahm – Doug Sahm and Band
Not exactly ‘alt country’ in the way that Uncle Tupelo defined it, but he’s not traditional alternative country. Sir Doug could never be pigeonholed into any single genre.
The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
No list about alternative country would be complete without the album that influenced its creation. All thanks to Gram Parsons who led The Byrds in creating one of the greatest country albums ever recorded.
Gram Parsons – everything
It’s impossible to pick just one album between the International Submarine Band, Flying Burrito Brothers and GP and Grievous Angel. God bless Gram Parsons.
Son Volt – Trace
I could go with The Jayhawks, Neko Case, Whiskeytown, Gillian Welch or even Sturgill Simpson, but I love this album. I don’t listen to anything else recorded by Son Volt, but these 11 tracks are perfect, and Jay’s songs in Uncle Tupelo are my favorite.