Entertainment Weekly - 1/22/93, p.57
"...a moving and sincere New Depression manifesto....[a] song cycle that lovers of early Dylan or Bruce Springsteen's NEBRASKA will find startlingly impressive..." - Rating: B+
Q - 10/03, p.1314 stars out of 5
- "...[This album] exposed the aching core of Tweedy and Farrar's songwriting..."
Uncut - 9/03, p.1224 stars out of 5
- "...A superb all-acoustic affair....They really went the extra country mile..."
Alternative Press - 2/93, p.61
"...Eschewing grunge for easygoing acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins and some steel guitar, most of the songs here are gems of economy, melodic movement and lyrical wit...an exceptional album..."
Dirty Linen - 4-5/93, p.90
"...a unified, righteous rant against capitalism and societal indifference to the plight of the workingman...reminds one of the virtues of Appalachian music as a medium for social protest. A totally convincing CD..."
Option - 11-12/92, p.151
"...further solidifies the group's standing as one of the most honest, genuine and uncompromising bands around....It all adds up to some of the most beautiful and moving, politically progressive, blue-collar country-folk songs recorded in the digital age..."
Contains a hidden track following "Moonshiner (Live)".
Uncle Tupelo: Jay Farrar (vocals, 6 & 12 string guitars, harmonica, bass); Jeff Tweedy (vocals, 6 & 12 string guitars, bass); Mike Heidorn (drums, cymbals, tambourine).
Additional personnel includes: Brian Henneman (guitar, slide guitar, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin); John Kean (guitar, pedal steel guitar, banjo, bass); Andy Carlson (violin); Bill Holmes (accordion); David Barbe (bass).
Principally recorded live at The Music Faucet, East Orange, New Jersey and John Keane Studios, Athens, Georgia between July 1990 & March 1992. Originally released on Rockville Records (6090). Includes liner notes by David Fricke.
On its third outing, Uncle Tupelo decided to leave the electric guitars behind, opting instead for an earthy acoustic sound. (In fact, the album's only electric noise is guitar feedback on "Wait Up," provided by producer Peter Buck of R.E.M.). The resulting MARCH 16-20, 1992 is a folksy mix of traditional and original songs filled with the rural and industrial imagery of Appalachia.
Tupelo originals like "Grindstone," "Shaky Ground," and "Black Eye" are heartfelt songs about working-class woes, while traditional tunes such as "Coalminers," "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down," and the Louvin Brothers' "Atomic Power" are inspired interpretations. Before the somber closing of "Wipe the Clock," the band performs the gorgeous "Sandusky," which ranks along with the most beautiful instrumentals ever to grace any rock, folk, or country album. Throughout MARCH 16-20, 1992, the Farrar/Tweedy originals and traditional songs blend effortlessly, tied together by sincerity and earnestness far too rare in contemporary music.