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Jeff Tweedy is a singer and songwriter who belongs to the influential alternative rock band Wilco.
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Jeff Tweedy was born on August 25, 1967, in Bellville, Illinois. His high school punk band with Jay Farrar evolved into the influential alt-country group Uncle Tupelo. After Farrar's departure, Tweedy formed Wilco from the remains of Uncle Tupelo. With Wilco, Tweedy's music went into experimental and critically acclaimed directions—one testament to this is their 2002 release, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Tweedy lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.
Singer, songwriter and musician Jeff Tweedy was born on August 25, 1967, in Bellville, Illinois. First rising to prominence with the alternative country band Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy has established himself as an influential force in the music world. He started his first band in high school, a punk quartet called the Primitives with Jay Farrar, Wade Farrar, and Mike Heidorn. After Wade's departure, the remaining members formed Uncle Tupelo in 1987.
Uncle Tupelo emerged as one of the leading acts in the burgeoning alternative country—also called alt-country—music scene. The band members combined their love of punk and country music to create their own distinctive style. Tweedy worked with Jay Farrar on writing many of the group's songs and was viewed by some as the weaker, more pop-oriented member of this songwriting duo.
After playing numerous gigs in St. Louis and around the midwest, Uncle Tupelo landed a recording deal with the independent label Rockville. Their first album, 1990's No Depression, featured such songs as "Screen Door" and "Whiskey Bottle." The title track was a cover version of a song by A. P. Carter of the Carter Family. The album was warmly received by critics as was their next effort, 1991's Still Feel Gone.
For their third album, March 16-20, 1992, Uncle Tupelo worked with Peter Buck, the guitarist of R.E.M., who served as their producer. Switching to a major label, the group released their most critically heralded album Anodyne (1993). But this country-rock recording proved to be their last studio work together. Drummer Heidorn left the group in 1993, and Ken Coomer replaced him. The group also added John Stirratt on bass and Max Johnston on fiddle, banjo, and guitar. But Uncle Tupelo broke up in 1994 after Jay Farrar's departure. He left to start another group, called Son Volt.
Stepping out of Farrar's shadow, Tweedy soon formed Wilco with the remaining members of Uncle Tupelo. The band released its first album A.M. in 1995, which showed a further progression in Tweedy's musical style. While true to his Uncle Tupelo country roots, Tweedy incorporated more rock and pop elements into Wilco's sound. The band, which now included Jay Barrett, earned raves for its next effort, 1996's Being There, which drew from such musical references as the Rolling Stones and Phil Spector's wall-of-sound style of 1960s pop.
That same year, Tweedy collaborated with Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum, Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, and many others to create the side project, Golden Smog.
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