In “Wilco (The Song),” lead singer Jeff Tweedy sings “Wilco will love you, baby.” Musically, no truer words have ever been spoken. Wilco, the Chicago-based alternative rock band, will love you with their amazing songwriting, and talented musicianship.
Generally categorized as an alternative band, Wilco began life in 1994 as an alternative country quintet. Over the years, Wilco has expanded their sound to include elements of rock, pop, folk, psychedelia, and experimental.
Wilco has released some of the greatest albums of the 21st century—Yankee Foxtrot Hotel (2002), A Ghost Is Born (2004), and Sky Blue Sky (2007) (not to mention Summerteeth from 1999). Even though their studio work is highly acclaimed, Wilco does not sell very many records. Only one of their first eight studio efforts has eclipsed the 600,000 mark and that was Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. Their sluggish sales are partly due to their penchant for streaming albums before they go on sale.
Where Wilco really excels is on the stage. With their huge catalog of songs and their amazing live shows, Wilco blows the roof off of every venue they play. Bottom line, if you have Wilco tickets you won’t be disappointed.
Wilco was founded in 1994 from the remnants of the alternative country band, Uncle Tupelo. The original lineup included singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jeff Tweedy, guitarist Brian Henneman, bassist John Stirratt, drummer Ken Coomer, and multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston. All but Henneman were official members of Uncle Tupelo.
The group thought about performing under the name Uncle Tupelo but soon realized a new epithet was needed. “Wilco” is the aviation and military voice abbreviation for “will comply” making it a peculiar name for a rock and roll band.
The only original members left are Tweedy and Stirratt. They are now joined by drummer Glenn Kotche, keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, and lead guitarist Nels Cline.
Cline is one of the unsung heroes of rock music. An amazing guitarist, Cline has a jazz and avant-garde background. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named him the 82nd greatest guitar player of all-time. A year later, Spin magazine released a similar list with Cline at number 43rd.