March 16-20, 1992

Nine years after Uncle Tupelo split—fracturing into Wilco and Son Volt—the alt-country heroes' four albums (No Depression, Still Feel Gone, March 16-20, 1992, and Anodyne) have all resur

Nine years after Uncle Tupelo split—fracturing into Wilco and Son Volt—the alt-country heroes' four albums (No Depression, Still Feel Gone, March 16-20, 1992, and Anodyne) have all resurfaced in the past two months, remastered, repackaged, and augmented with a few live tracks, demos, or the spare unreleased original. (The first three were revamped by Legacy; Anodyne by Rhino). If not the best, third album March 16-20, 1992 is the most unique of the batch and certainly the band's most rural-sounding. An all-acoustic affair steeped in Appalachian imagery and musical influence, March 16-20 is dusted with harmonica, banjo, steel guitar, and mandolin and includes percussion on only a couple of tracks. The album offers vintage Jay Farrar: The eventual Son Volt frontman grimly sings of Depression-era life on highlights "Coalminers" and "Moonshiner," both traditionals. Future Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy, meanwhile, is heard blossoming on such songs as "Black Eye," flashing the songwriting promise he would realize over the next decade. Instrumental or not, the cinematic string-bender "Sandusky" is one of the band's best tracks.—WO