This ain't your grandparents' country music: Son Volt and Cowboy Junkies perform Tuesday at the Mesa Arts Center's Ikeda Theater.
The two groups are regarded as pioneers in alternative country music, a genre that bridges the gap between traditional country and country rock.
Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar is credited with what many music critics consider the first alt-country album, "No Depression," released by his previous band, Uncle Tupelo, in 1990.
The St. Louis band broke up in 1994, leading Farrar to form Son Volt and his co-songwriter Jeff Tweedy to form Wilco.
Son Volt, whose songs range from folk ballads to honky-tonk, recently released their sixth studio album, "American Central Dust."
Cowboy Junkies, an alternative rock band formed by Toronto siblings Margo, Michael and Peter Timmins, gained prominence with their 1988 album "The Trinity Session."
The eclectic album mixed original songs with covers of pop, rock and country classics. It featured the Junkies' biggest hit, a haunting remake of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane."
The album also included "Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis)," which combined an original song with the classic "Blue Moon."
Last year, the Junkies released "Trinity Revisited," a 20th anniversary re-recording with guest artists like Ryan Adams and Natalie Merchant.