"With a Sky Blue Sky"
Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. For my money there truly hasn't been a better source of creative American music for the past ten plus years than the music of one Jeff Tweedy. From his early work with Uncle Tupelo, to his grand experiments in studio aesthetics with Wilco, Mr. Tweedy has never disappointed. There is no doubt that his work with Wilco has become so mesmerizing, enchanting and cathartic that the band has been elevated to the ridiculous level of artists/bands who can do no wrong (Beatles, Radiohead, ABBA). One of the most staggering things about his musical accomplishments is that he has produced inspiring music in many different veins, collaborating with a wide variety of artists, from Jim O'Rourke to Ian Hunter, to Billy Bragg and contributing to countless side projects, including Loose Fur (w/ O'Rourke and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche) and the supergroup Golden Smog (members of Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Wilco, Big Star and The Jayhawks).
Fortunately for us, Wilco will be releasing their new record, Sky Blue Sky, on May 15th on Nonesuch Records. The album, which is classic American rock and roll at its finest, features 12 tracks showcasing Tweedy's timeless song writing and some superbly intricate guitar work from axe-man Nels Cline. No doubt this album comes just in time for summer road trips down dusty highways, where it is sure to find a home. You can listen to the entire record here. Below you can download the lead single "What Light" for free.
Also for your aural enjoyment, we've chosen to share a few phenomenal live tracks culled from fine solo performances. The first few come from a benefit show Jeff did at the Vic Theatre for Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital, which treated Jeff's son for Kawasaki Disease. The other batch comes from a different benefit performance he did for the "Letters to Santa" organization. Both feature stripped down acoustic versions of classic Wilco and Uncle Tupelo songs, as well as some rarities, covers and some a bunch of other "good stuff."
And all the way at the very bottom of the post you can find a stunning version of 'The Thanks I Get', featured in the recent Jeff Tweedy solo dvd, Sunken Treasure. If you haven't seen the film yet, do yourself a favor. Highly Recommended.
Wilco- What Light From the forthcoming Sky Blue Sky
Jeff Tweedy- I Can't Keep From Talking ("Living Room" show 4/8/06) A Golden Smog song, one of the numerous side projects Tweedy participates in.
Jeff Tweedy- The Ruling Class ("Living Room" show 4/8/06)A showcase for Tweedy's impeccable story telling, this track features a funny tale which connects Tweedy and "King of the Hill."
Jeff Tweedy- I'm Beginning to See the Light ("Living Room" show 4/8/06) Solo acoustic version of this Harry James song from an intimate performance at the Hotel S n' S in Chicago.
Jeff Tweedy- The Laminated Cat (w/ Glenn Kotche) Personally, I think this is the definitive version of this Loose Furs song. 3/5/2005 Vic Theatre, Chicago.
Jeff Tweedy- I Shall Be Released The encore from the Vic Theatre show 5/8/2005. This homage to the Band couldn't be a more fitting show closer. Right on.
Pictures from one of the Tweedy "Living Room" shows