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Music Uncle Tupelo group picture (pic) and photo gallery, albums cover pictures.
Formed: 1987 in Belleville, IL.
Uncle Tupelo was a popular music group formed in 1987 in Belleville, Illinois. The founding members were Jay Farrar (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Mike Heidorn (drums), and Jeff Tweedy (bass guitar, guitar, harmonica, vocals). Other members included Bill Belzer (drums), Ken Coomer (drums), Max Johnston (banjo, dobro, fiddle, mandolin, steel guitar), and John Stirratt (bass guitar). Often hailed as the fathers of alternative country--a term that Farrar has recently avoided--there is little doubt that their music has had a great impact on the evolution of both the country music and alternative rock genres. Blending styles as diverse as hardcore punk in the style of Black Flag and The Minutemen with country instrumentation and harmony in the spirit of the Carter Family, their sound was immediately considered by many to be the genesis of a new genre. Another oft-cited influence on Uncle Tupelo is Neil Young, evidenced by Uncle Tupelo's frequent live performances of Young standards like "Down By The River" and "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Uncle Tupelo's use of working class themes, imagery from Middle America, and traditional American music forms was presented with a decidedly modern rock sensibility. Members of Uncle Tupelo went on to form the bands Wilco and Son Volt.