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The Waco Brothers are an alternative country band in Chicago, Illinois. The band has recorded eight albums.

The Waco Brothers
At the Metro, Chicago 2011
Background information
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresAlt country
Years active1994-present
LabelsBloodshot Records



The Waco Brothers was 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.

The band recorded the first of its eight studio albums in 1995. 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."[1] 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."[2]

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."[3][4]


Dean Schlabowske, Tracey Dear, Jon Langford, Alan Doughty and Joe Camarillo performing on March 15, 2018

Former membersEdit


  • To the Last Dead Cowboy (Bloodshot Records, 1995)
  • Cowboy in Flames (Bloodshot Records, 1997)[11]
  • 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] (Bloodshot Records, 2015)
  • Going Down in History (Bloodshot Records, 2016)


  1. ^ "Waco Brothers, 'Live and Kicking' in Chicago". Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Interview: Sarah Vowell". Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  3. ^ Chicago Tribune, "Waco Brothers, Paul Burch combine for 'Great Chicago Fire'"
  4. ^ Margasak, Peter (23 April 2012). "Artist on Artist: Paul Burch talks to Jon Langford of the Waco Brothers". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Interview with Hushdrops"
  6. ^ Music & Musicians: NRBQ
  7. ^ Deano & the Purvs Archived 2010-05-24 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Dollar Store
  9. ^ Ramblin' Deano
  10. ^ Dear Productions
  11. ^ Paul Verna (25 January 1997). Reviews & Previews. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 59. ISSN 0006-2510.

External linksEdit