Not Forever, Just for Now

Like many people, I was first drawn to Uncle Tupelo through Wilco. When Yankee Hotel Foxtrot came out, I was impressed, as was the fashion of the time. (I don't consider it the timeless classic that some people appear to, but it is nonetheless a very good record). Anyway, as I looked into Jeff Tweedy's history, I found out that he had played in Uncle Tupelo with Jay Farrar (currently of Sun Volt, whose debut album I later would remember my father listening to back when I was still in middle school). I liked what I read about them and bought the Still Feel Gone reissue on a whim when it came out. By the time the opening track, Tweedy's "Gun", had ended, I was hooked.

Their best album always was and clearly remains the all-acoustic Peter Buck-produced March 16-20, 1992. The selection of traditional songs and covers is excellent, and the originals, many of the best of the band's four-album career. Unfortunately, I don't have any particularly impressive live or rare tracks from that era that aren't included on official releases, so I can't post anything from it.

The track I do have, however, does not disappoint. The song comes from the band's debut album, No Depression, which, as you might guess, spawned the title of a certain well-known alt-country publication. The band's sound was still very rough at this point, and most of the album sounds like traditional country played at punk speed and volume. There are, though, a few exceptions: namely, the aforementioned title track (a Carter Family cover), and the excellent original "Whiskey Bottle." I have a great deal of difficulty believing that anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in a "three hour away town" can't relate to its lyrics, which describe with a startling degree of accuracy the feeling of longing for something bigger and better.

The version I have attached to this post is an acoustic radio session; note, however, that it is not the same acoustic radio version that appears as a bonus track on the Legacy reissue of No Depression. Enjoy.

Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle (live acoustic)

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