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It's Just You and Jeff Tweedy on the Road

Jeff Tweedy loves red lights! And playing guitar on the road.
Jeff Tweedy loves red lights! And playing guitar on the road.

As the finger-plucked opening notes trickle in, a foggy montage of rainy highways, old storefronts and empty concert halls captures the behind-the-scenes feel of a tour. A rumble of the crowd and a lone fan declares, "Hey Jeff! I love you man!"

It's these little moments that make Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy's new concert film, Sunken Treasure, so engaging — you feel as if you're on the road with this guitar-playing icon of alt-country. At one point, he even forgets the words to "Shot in the Arm," then asks the audience to sing along to boost his memory.

Longtime Wilco fans will know most of the music, but both newcomers and diehards get a glimpse at a different side to Tweedy's prolific songcraft. The stripped down arrangements revitalize old favorites like "In a Future Age" and "Airline To Heaven" and show off Tweedy's haunted yet charismatic voice. You could argue that watching from home is a far cry from experiencing this great show in person. But this DVD beautifully takes you there — and you don't have to fight your way out of the parking lot when it's over.

Michael Katzif, who writes about music for NPR, turned his baby boomer Dad on to Wilco.

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Mike Katzif