Established in 2010, the Solid Sound Festival kicks off at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow evening. The art and music festival is curated by Chicago-based rock band, Wilco, and even now they are in the area rehearsing while countless excellent people put the finishing touches on what is sure to be an amazing weekend of eclectic music, eye-popping art, world-class comedy, food, friends, and fun.
Wilco will play a special acoustic set on Friday night, a plugged-in set on Saturday night, and then Jeff Tweedy’s still-pretty-new band, Tweedy, will play a concert with friends to wrap up the festival on Sunday.
Jeff and his son - and skilled drummer - Spencer formed Tweedy last year and released an album, Sukierae, in September. Spencer has also played drums on albums produced by Jeff over the last few years including Mavis Staples’ One True Vine.
I sat down with them in North Adams yesterday to talk with Jeff and Spencer and was struck by their congenial and respectful their relationship is -- and thrilled to also note good-natured ribbing. To borrow a Wilco title - they have The Whole Love - it’s contagious and it’s cool. Just like Solid Sound.
The Solid Sound Festival returns to MASS MoCA this weekend. The Richard Thompson Trio will play in Joe’s Field on Saturday.
Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2011, Thompson was the recipient of the Order of the British Empire - personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Most recently, the Americana Music Honors & Awards nominated him for “Artist of the Year”.
Yesterday his new album, Still, was released yesterday on Fantasy Records. The album was recorded in The Wilco Loft in Chicago and is produced by Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy.
The Solid Sound Festival is curated by the rock band Wilco. So it stands to reason we’d have a member of the band on our show today - and we do! Jeff Tweedy joins us to talk about Solid Sound and other Wilco goings-on.
Then, after a quick break, his son Spencer joins us, too! Spencer is the drummer for The Blisters - the band is playing this Sunday at the festival. They’ve been together for 10 years and put out an album on their website earlier this month. The album is called “Finally, Bored” - but we have a sneaking suspicion that Spencer is anything but. (The kid is busy is what we're saying.)