Nels In New Axe book

state of the axe

Ran into Nels Cline the other night at his brother’s memorial concert for the late percussionist Dan Morris. Nels revealed that he contributed his thoughts to a new book entitled State of the Axe: Guitar Masters in Photographs and Words by musician/photographer Ralph Gibson. Some of Nels’ postmodern compadres in the book include Adrian Belew, Jim Hall, Mary Halvorson, Allan Holdsworth, Bill Frisell, Arto Lindsay, John MacLaughlin, Lou Reed, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Andy Summers and James “Blood” Ulmer. He also told us that he just got back from the new Das Vilco sessions in Chicago, where they are recording material for a new album, including “Wilco The Song,” that impossibly catchy piece of hilarity that should quell anyone who says this band is too “serious.” I asked Nels if that great sludgy, punky riff was his idea. “Nope, it was all Jeff [Tweedy]. The new stuff is a lot like that song. We wanted a sort of John Cale-in-the-1970s feel.”