The Waco Brothers

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The Waco Brothers
At the Metro, Chicago 2011
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Alt country
Years active 1994-present
Labels Bloodshot Records

The Waco Brothers are an alternative country band in Chicago, Illinois, formed by Jon Langford of the Mekons. The group grew out of Langford's wish to play more country-influenced music as the Mekons concentrated more on a punk sound. They were originally put together simply for local Chicago shows, but the success of their Bloodshot Records albums allowed them to tour the US occasionally. Many of the members also participate in Langford's Pine Valley Cosmonauts project.

Although the band has recorded eight studio albums since 1995, their cult popularity is primarily a response to their live performances.[1] Their album, Waco Express: Live & Kickin' at Schuba's Tavern is a concert recording which Ken Tucker, the pop music critic for NPR's Fresh Air and Editor-at-Large at Entertainment Weekly, described as "country as it should be written and played, with a long memory for roadhouse honky-tonks rather than TV-ready music videos."[2] Author and music critic Sarah Vowell told the Chicagoist, "I’ve never been able to find a live band in New York as consistently thrilling and funny and fun as the Waco Brothers."[3]

In 2012, the Waco Brothers collaborated with Nashville mainstay Paul Burch to produce Great Chicago Fire. The Chicago Tribune said of the album, "If the Rolling Stones were still making great records, this would be it."[4][5]


Former members[edit]


  • To the Last Dead Cowboy (Bloodshot Records, 1995)
  • Cowboy in Flames (Bloodshot Records, 1997)
  • Do You Think About Me? (Bloodshot Records, 1997)
  • Wacoworld (Bloodshot Records, 1999)
  • Electric Waco Chair (Bloodshot Records, 2000)
  • New Deal (Bloodshot Records, 2002)
  • Nine Slices of My Midlife Crisis (Buried Treasure Records, 2004)
  • Freedom and Weep (Bloodshot Records, 2005)
  • Waco Express The Waco Brothers Live and Kickin' at Schuba's Tavern (Bloodshot Records, 2008)
  • Great Chicago Fire [with Paul Burch] (Bloodshot Records, 2012)
  • Cabaret Showtime [compilation]
  • Going Down in History, (Bloodshot Records, 2016)


External links[edit]