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Uncle Tupelo

About Uncle Tupelo

Uncle Tupelo was the first true alternative country-rock band. The band was formed in 1987 by Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn in Belleville, Illinois.

The trio recorded four studio albums: No Depression (1990), Still Feel Gone (1991), March 16-20, 1992 (1992), and Anodyne (1993) before disbanding in 1994.

No Depression’s unprecedented fusion of country music’s simplistic and honest vibes with the raging fury of punk rock ignited an underground culture of anti-mainstream musicians and fans united by a mutual disdain towards Nashville’s growing preference for pop-oriented country music. The tag “No Depression” became a catchall for alternative rock’s return to its country roots and inspired the establishment of an online Journal of Roots Music titled No Depression.

Despite their underground success, numerous altercations between Farrar and Tweedy eventually led Farrar to quit the band after Uncle Tupelo’s final concert on May 1, 1994 in St. Louis.

After the breakup, both Farrar and Tweedy began recruiting members for their new bands. Tweedy successfully persuaded the other Uncle Tupelo bandmates to join him and together they created the genre-defying group, Wilco. Farrar composed a four-piece set of musicians and formed the more traditional-minded group, Son Volt.