Back in 2017, the late, great Daniel Johnston went on a farewell tour in which every show found him backed by local luminaries ranging from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans to emo heroes Modern Baseball in Philadelphia. Tweedy, the band led by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer, backed up Johnston at his Chicago show at the Vic Theatre. The band — which also included James Elkington, Liam Kazar, and Darin Gray — also did a session with Johnston at the Wilco Loft. Now, in the wake of Johnston’s death last September, both of those performances are being released on vinyl.
Recorded by veteran Americana producer Tom Schick, Chicago 2017 culls material from the Vic show and Loft session. It will be limited to 2,000 black, blue, and white splatter vinyl LPs available exclusively through Wilco’s web store and independent retailers, with proceeds benefitting the Hi, How Are You Project. In a press release, Jeff Tweedy says, “There is and was only one Daniel and to be able to work with him and help present his music was a huge honor for me and the band, one for which we are all very thankful.”
Johnston’s longtime manager Tom Gimbel shared these words as well:
Jeff Tweedy and Wilco have been incredible ambassadors of Daniel’s music for years. So many fans have discovered Daniel’s work through covers and interviews by notable artists such as Jeff and Wilco — and we are certainly grateful. I think this album captures the perfect Daniel Johnston setlist and does so with Jeff and the band’s expert musicianship and thoughtful arrangements. I’m so glad that this show from Daniel’s last tour was recorded with such care. It’s something fans will be able to enjoy forever.
Hear the Chicago 2017 version of “Worried Shoes” below.
01 “The Story Of An Artist”
02 “Like A Monkey In A Zoo”
03 “Casper The Friendly Ghost”
04 “Hey Joe”
05 “Worried Shoes”
06 “Cold Hard World”
07 “Crazy Love”
01 “Girl Of My Dreams”
02 “Walking The Cow”
03 “Funeral Home”
04 “I’m So Tired”
05 “Speeding Motorcycle”
06 “True Love Will Find You In The End” / “Spirit World Rising” / “Funeral Home”
Chicago 2017 is out 1/31 via dBpm. Pre-order it here.