Wilco and Neal Francis Share “Theologians (Live At Sky Blue Sky),” Launch One Day Only Fundraiser on Bandcamp
Photo by Jason Koerner
Grammy Award-winning band Wilco and singer/songwriter and pianist Neal Francis have released a live joined rendition of Wilco’s classic song “Theologians.” The recording comes from a performance earlier this year, when the two Chicago-based acts performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky festival in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
“Our good friend Neal Francis said let’s play this song together,” said Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy as he welcomed Francis to the stage. “He came to practice it with us, and he sang the shit out of it, so he’s gonna sing it.”
“As a Chicagoan, I’ve spent most of my life looking up to Wilco, so naturally I was thrilled when they asked me to sit in at Sky Blue Sky,” said Francis of the experience in a press release. “The band was gracious enough to allow me to pick the tune I would play with them, which presented its own challenge because they have so many songs I love. My girlfriend suggested ‘Theologians’ as it’s one of her favorites. I liked that choice because it has a great piano part, and the lyrics really resonate with me as someone who continues to contemplate spirituality.
The song will be available on a pay-what-you-want basis via Bandcamp for one day only today Friday, April 1, with all proceeds equally distributed between Chicago-based organization My Block My Hood My City as well as Ukrainian families through the International Rescue Committee.
“Most importantly it’s an honor to be contributing to My Block My Hood My City, whose work focuses on support at the neighborhood level for areas of Chicago that continue to be denied resources,” said Francis of the organizations. “In light of the heart wrenching violence in Ukraine, and the great needs of the people there, we have also decided to direct the proceeds of our release to the International Rescue Committee which supports Ukrainian children and families in harm’s way.”
Mexican artist Daniel Herrera designed the cover for the digital-only single.
Listen to “Theologians (Live At Sky Blue Sky)” below: