Although fans of the Chicago band Wilco have had to wait almost a year for the band's long-delayed upcoming album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," there's now a slew of music coming from the group.
Wilco completed work on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" last April, and the album is now scheduled for release April 23 via Nonesuch Records. While working on the album, original drummer Ken Coomer and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Jay Bennett left the band, and Wilco also parted company with their label, Reprise.
But none of the parties has been idle. The group's current lineup -- Jeff Tweedy on guitar and vocals, bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche and keyboardist/guitarist Leroy Bach -- has already recorded another album.
The new disc was recorded at Soma, the Chicago studio owned by the band Tortoise. It consists of four songs with four accompanying instrumental pieces. No release has been planned, and the group has set aside July for further recording. Wilco's new lineup is scheduled to perform at Toronto's Convocation Hall on April 21 and at Montreal's Le Spectrum on April 22.
Meanwhile, an album on which Wilco backs Young Fresh Fellow/R.E.M. sideman Scott McCaughey, will be released under McCaughey's Minus 5 moniker. Rolling Stone reported that album may be released this summer under the title "Down With Wilco."
In other news, an album Tweedy recorded more than a year ago with musician Jim O'Rourke (Gastr Del Sol, Sonic Youth) may finally surface this summer. And there's still a remote chance that a soundtrack album drawn from the forthcoming Wilco documentary, "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," could be released to coincide with the film.
Director Sam Jones says the movie, which documents the making of "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," is due for a theatrical release in a 100-minute cut this summer, and will likely surface in the fall as a DVD loaded with material cut from the film. Jones has posted clips and an online diary documenting the making of his documentary at Wilcofilm.com, where he is also selling merchandise.
The website for Stirratt's side project, The Autumn Defense (www.theautumndefense.com), reports that the band is completing a follow-up to their debut, "The Green Hour." The as-yet-untitled new album was recorded in Nashville.
And if that weren't enough music, Jay Bennett has kick-started his post-Wilco career with "The Palace At 4 A.M.," due April 23. It's the first of three albums he has already completed with long-time pal Edward Burch.
Coomer, meanwhile, has completed his first production assignment, on an album with singer-songwriter Joshua Bennett; ex-Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan providing keyboards on the session. Coomer has also played on sessions with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris, and most recently has been performing with Lucinda Williams.