Guitar explorer NELS CLINE is best known these days as the lead guitarist in the band Wilco. His recording and performing career – spanning jazz, rock, punk, and experimental – is well into its fourth decade, with over 160 recordings, including at least 30 for which he is leader. Born in Los Angeles in 1956, Cline has received many accolades including Rolling Stone anointing him as both one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
Beyond Wilco, he leads The Nels Cline Singers (featuring Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn), and plays with Fig (a collaboration with Yuka Honda), BB&C (a collective with Time Berne & Jim Black), Pillow Wand (duo with guitarist Thurston Moore), and a new duo project with jazz guitar prodigy Julian Lage. A few of the other musicians with whom he has performed and/or recorded include: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Yoko Ono, Jeff Gauthier, Mike Watt, Carla Bozulich, Vinny Golia, Marc Ribot, Tinariwen, Julius Hemphill, Charlie Haden, Wadada Leo Smith, Lydia Lunch, and Lee Ranaldo .
Videos & Press
[Wall Street Journal] New CDs from Eric Johnson and Mike Stern and from Nels Cline and Julian Lage are only the beginning of the guitarists’ improvisational journeys. By JIM FUSILLI The unexpected pairings of Eric Johnson and Mike Stern on “Eclectic” (Heads Up) and of Nels Cline and Julian Lage on “Room” (Mack Avenue) produced […]
[SF Gate] By Andrew Gilbert When Wilco takes a break, Nels Cline really gets busy. He’s best known these days for his decade-long tenure as lead guitarist for the rootsy Chicago alt-rock band, but Cline had a long and prolific career as an intrepid musical explorer on the underground Los Angeles music scene years before […]
[LA Times] By Chris Barton Picture a guitar hero. What do you see? Maybe there’s flowing hair shaking before arena-sized crowds, a few technicolor scarves and Eddie Van Halen-esque spotlight posturing. Or maybe it’s a crowd of gone-too-soon ghosts in Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Duane Allman. But what you don’t immediately imagine is […]
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[New York Times] By Ben Ratliff I saw a lot of the following at the 2011 New York Winter Jazzfest, held in five clubs within a three-block radius in Greenwich Village on Friday and Saturday nights: Female musicians. Hyperarticulate trumpet players. Music from foreign lands Iraq, India, Cuba and the lost continent of prog-rock. […]