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Check It Out

Check It Out!: July 12, 2013

Son Volt — Honky Tonk

(Rounder Records) —

Forever entwined with ex-Uncle Tupelo bandmate Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar of Son Volt somehow still manages to be overshadowed by Tweedy’s critically-acclaimed Wilco, even having the misfortune of having both groups’ albums generally come out in a fairly similar narrow time-frame. Having reformed Son Volt back in 2005 after a brief hiatus, Farrar returned to moving towards making country music that Blake Shelton might look at as being for old farts. And while that terminology might have gotten Ray Price up in arms, stylistically it’s what distinguishes Honky Tonk, Son Volt’s seventh studio album. On it, Tweedy’s ex-bandmate and his crew are paying homage to Bakersfield masters like Merle Haggard via 11 Farrar-penned songs. The Son Volt founder’s world-weary voice is the perfect conduit for these tales that balance feelings of hope and goodness with those of heartbreak and woe. A trilling mandolin gooses along lines like “There’s a world of wisdom/Inside a fiddle tune/Throw this love down the highway/See where it takes you” in “Down the Highway” while the combination of pedal steel and fiddle makes “Brick Walls” the equivalent of a Buck Owens outtake. And while Farrar never seems to get out of an idling gear, be it on the lilting two-step tempo of “Tears of Change” or the leaden twang and pealing pedal steel of “Bakersfield,” Honky Tonk has a measured earnestness that would be sure to put a smile on Price’s face.

July 13


VANS Warped Tour ‘13 @ Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke.,

11:30 a.m. $49.55. 866-448-7849

Long after the H.O.R.D.E. Tour and Lilith Fair junkets have become alcohol-blotted memories, VANS Warped Tour carries on. This year’s slate of performers includes Hawthorne Heights, Forever the Sickest Kids, Motion City Soundtrack, Chiodos, Reel Big Fish, The Black Dahlia Murder, VersaEmerge, MC Lars, Gin Wigmore, Silverstein, Vinnie Caruana, The Used and others.

July 13


Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group @ the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd.,

8 p.m. $85, $65, $45. 516-299-3100

Over the years, Lyle Lovett has moved away from being a country-music singer-songwriter to more of a genre-hopping mad scientist along the lines of fellow Texan (and Western swing legend) Bob Wills. His 14th and most recent album, last year’s Release Me, signals the end of his relationship with Curb Records. As such, he’s recorded a hodgepodge of songs and while only two are Lovett originals, the alt-country icon does readings of songs penned by Townes Van Zandt, Chuck Berry, Jesse Winchester and Frank Loesser. (Also appearing on July 14 at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach 631-288-1500