Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
March 16-20 1992
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
After ripping it up on No Depression and Still Feel Gone, their first two albums of twangy punk rock, Uncle Tupelo unplugged for this remarkable tribute--half originals, half political and religious covers--to the band's o... more »
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After ripping it up on No Depression and Still Feel Gone, their first two albums of twangy punk rock, Uncle Tupelo unplugged for this remarkable tribute--half originals, half political and religious covers--to the band's old-time influences. While the new songs of frontmen Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy are consistently strong here (especially Farrar's "Grindstone"), it's the album's haunted covers of old folksongs that are the true keepers. Tweedy's apocalyptic version of "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" and Farrar's earnest readings of the beat-down "Moonshiner" and the labor song "Coalminers" are as frightening, beautiful, and passionate as anything the band ever recorded. --David Cantwell
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One of the finest pieces of American music ever made.
Daniel Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Seattle WA | 07/03/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That is a huge claim, but I believe, backed up by this remarkable album. It is at once timeless and immediate. It can be seen a story cycle, a classic look at America, as it starts with a man describing his working conditions as brutal and hopeless -"Grindstone"- and proceeds to depict scenes of madness, murder, undying love and biblical damnation. However, the album ends on a hopeful note with the song "Wipe the Clock" which suggests that there is redemption for all of us. This album is both a scathing critique of american gangster capitalism, the death penalty, nuclear power, but also believes in the healing power of love. The music is very spare, stripped down to bare bones acoustic, but is still some of the most haunting music ever put to wax. A very American album, you can hear all the musical echoes from the Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, to anybody whoever sat on his front porch and plucked out a blues; from a Kentucky back holler to the Mississippi Delta. If anybody ever asked me to name a list of albums that most represented and reflected our country, this album would rank high on that list.Buy It."
Ahead of its time
Andrew Welsh | dallas | 10/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded over a five day period in Athens under the production guidance of Peter Buck, this is one of the true acoustic masterpieces of all time. (I would also highly recommend "The Good Earth" by the feelies - another P.Buck produced record). What passes for alt-country these days cannot compare to this seminal effort.The Jayhawks, Whiskeytowns, and even the two UT spinoffs can learn a lot from the simplistic beauty of this music. Excellent."
A great transition album.
grapabo | Missouri | 03/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a Tupelo fan from the early 90s, and bought the cassette at about the time it came out, somewhere around 1992 or 1993. Until I looked up this finding on Amazon, I didn't realize that this album was so hard to find. (Maybe the new Uncle Tupelo anthology "89/93" will include some of these tracks.)The first two albums by Tupelo -- "No Depression" and "Still Feel Gone" -- do incorporate some bluegrass and acoustic music, but there is a really big guitar sound that almost sounds like "country metal". It's not a swipe at their credibility (the lyrics and the spirit of the albums are fine), but in the early 90s, there really wasn't a place to categorize this type of music. But if you want to understand the context between the sonic tempest of "Still Feel Gone" and the alt-country landmark of "Anodyne", this CD of half-traditional, half-original numbers will explain a lot.With "March 16-20, 1992", it's almost like their unofficial unplugged album. The tone-down in volume doesn't take away from the power of the album. Some other reviewers have commented on the traditional songs they cover, but there are three killer tracks that (if I recall correctly) are originals that give the album a heart all its own.On the first side is "Shaky Ground", one of the most resonating and textually complex songs you'll hear out of only a singer (Jay) and his guitar, accompanied by a bottleneck guitar at the end.On the second side is a double-shot. The first is "Fatal Wound", where Jeff sings the lament of someone whose barstool fate has been sealed long before he/she realizes it. This dire song is then followed by an instrumental -- "Sandusky" -- that has the breath of life within it. After all of the depressing nature of the songs preceding it, the song is like a curtain opening to the sunlight. For an album that might have been categorized as a tribute to their roots, "March 16-20, 1992" serves a purpose far beyond that premise, and deserves attention even today."