Wilco ‘Cruel Country Tour’: Coming to Shelburne August 24 | Vermont Arts

Famous rock band Wilco is playing in Vermont for the first time in a decade, performing August 24 at the Shelburne Museum as part of Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green Series.

The show marks Wilco’s first show in the Green Mountain State since a 2012 gig at the Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo, and the first at the Shelburne Museum since its sole performance on the Green 15 years ago in 2007.

The seminal Chicago-based band performs in support of a new double album, “Cruel Country,” slated for release May 27 on the band’s Western Massachusetts-based label, dBpm Records.

The release of the album coincides with the return of the band’s Solid Sound music and arts festival, May 27-29, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). The three-day affair features several Wilco tracks, among many other acts, and a live performance from the “Cruel Country” album.

Wilco’s twelfth album, “Cruel Country” is the band’s first country album, according to frontman Jeff Tweedy. While some of Wilco’s early material certainly had elements of country music, “we were never particularly comfortable with that definition of the music we make,” Tweedy says in his self-penned press materials.

“With this album, though… Wilco digs in and calls it country,” he says. “Our country. Country music that sounds like us to our ears.

“Having been around the block a few times, we find it exhilarating to free ourselves from form and embrace the simple limitation of calling the music we make country.”

To that end, the band – Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Pat Sansone and Nels Cline – played together in the same room at The Loft, the band’s studio in Chicago. The result is a 21-track double album composed almost entirely of live takes.

“It’s a style of recording that forces a band to let go of control and learn to trust each other and each other’s imperfections, musical and otherwise,” says Tweedy, calling “Cruel Country” “an album of “American music” about America.

Two singles from the album have already been released. “Falling Apart (Right Now)” is an upbeat, nasal track – which “sounds like new territory for a 12-record band and three decades after its run”, according to the New York Times – while “Tired of Take it Out on You” is poignant and introspective.

“I’ve realized over the years that a lot of the songs I’ve written have reminded me to pay attention to various things,” Tweedy, 54, says of the latter. “I’m a person who has to be mindful of how I treat others when I’m not feeling my best.”

An unassuming rock star since its formation in 1994, Wilco has gained increasing acclaim while becoming more staunchly independent. After kicking off the 2000s with one of the most famous and best albums of the decade, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (2002), the current lineup began to take off later in the decade with such strong albums. as “Sky Blue Sky” in 2007 and Grammy-nominated “Wilco (The Album)” in 2009.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” which Pitchfork called “simply a masterpiece,” seven different special editions of the album are set to be released Sept. 16 on the Nonesuch label.

Wilco also performed the album in its very last month with two limited runs in New York and Chicago.

ThomasWhuntington @hotmail.com

Toya J. Bell