2016 TSMF Performers

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, photo by Vivian Johnson, Todos Santos Music Festival

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, photo by Vivian Johnson

Jeff Tweedy – Wilco’s leader and songwriter has a long-standing relationship with Buck, dating back to 1992 when Buck produced an album by Tweedy’s former group Uncle Tupelo. Buck and Tweedy have also worked together in The Minus 5, which once made an album memorably titled, Down With Wilco. Tweedy also sings on Buck’s brand new solo album, Warzone Earth. This is Tweedy’s first appearance at the TSMF.

Death Cab For Cutie – This Bellingham, Washington alt-rock/emo band is one of the biggest bands to play the festival in terms of sheer commercial appeal. Sporting a new touring lineup and a reinvigorated live show, DCFC are as vital as ever. Front man Ben Gibbard participated in 2013 but this will be Death Cab’s debut performance as a band at the TSMF and is sure to be a huge event.

Drive-By Truckers – These beloved Alabama rockers have elevated the concept of “southern rock” to previously unimagined heights with their brilliant songwriting and powerful live shows. The Truckers are coming back for their second appearance after proving to be a big hit in 2015.

The Jayhawks – These Minneapolis alt-country pioneers have been around since the mid-1980s and are also coming back for their second TSMF. They just completed recording a new album in Portland, OR with none other than Peter Buck and Tucker Martine at the helm, an occasion that had its roots in discussions initiated at last year’s festival. Expect lots of material from the new album, a record that Buck said will “blow a lot of people’s minds.”

Old 97’s – This high energy rootsy rock act returns for the second time after tearing up the Hotel California stage last year. Buck recently contributed to front man and longtime R.E.M. fan Rhett Millers recent solo album, The Traveler.

The Autumn Defense – This side project features John Stirratt and Pat Sansone from Wilco. Back for the second year in a row, The Autumn Defense effortlessly play sophisticated pop with an abundance of style and formidable musical skills.

La Santa Cecilia – Named after the patron saint of music, this LA-based group of Mexican emigres was one of the highlights of the 2015 festival. Combining topical lyrics, political activism and a musical gumbo full of rock, soul and a variety of Mexican styles–all presented in a colorful, high-energy stage show–a La Santa Cecilia show is guaranteed to move the body as well as the mind.

Torreblanca – Hailing from Mexico City, this “post pop” band is long on energy and great songs. Long a festival staple throughout Mexico, Torreblanca’s thrilling live show is a force to be reckoned with.

Tigria – Another Mexico City act, this trio specializes in dream, lush electro-pop with a very modern edge. Adds a nice variety to the already diverse TSMF lineup.

Filthy Friends (Featuring Corin Tucker and Peter Buck) – Buck and Tucker have worked together previously on Buck solo albums and in the Super-Earth project with Krist Noveselic, but this potential new “supergroup” remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Rumors of a studio album make this a highly anticipated TSMF event.

FRANKIE – This new all-girl band from Vancouver just released a great debut album full of lush, dream-pop excellence.

The TSMF Irregulars aka “The Usual Suspects”

The first few sets every night at the TSMF are usually reserved for the “Peter Buck Band” (basically, whoever he can wrangle together for the occasion) and then a showcase set from a rotating cast of characters, including but not limited to:

Chuck Prophet – Formerly of the seminal California indie band Green on Red, Chuck has spent the last 25 years blowing minds with his amazing guitar chops, winning songs and a first-rate backing band, The Mission Express. A longtime surfer, Chuck is equally at home on the Hotel California stage and the breaks out at Cerritos Beach.

Joseph Arthur – Multi-talented doesn’t even begin to describe this Ohio via NYC native. One of the finest songwriters of his generation, Arthur has taken the term “prolific” to another dimension, with dozens of releases over the last two decades as well as compiling a massive stockpile of unreleased material. An absolutely compelling live performer, Arthurs’s pioneering use of live “looping” is a sight to behold and gives new meaning to the “one man band” concept. Joe is also a gifted visual artist and often creates a painting during his live shows.

Scott McCaughey – Long revered as a legend/mad genius amongst discriminating fans and musicians, McCaughey first attained fame during the 1980s with the Young Fresh Fellows, one of the best indie rock bands of the era. He followed that with a solo album and the formation of The Minus 5, a uniquely talented collective that have released a plethora of inspired releases over the years featuring McCaughey’s special brand of song craft performed with an endlessly changing “who’s who” roster of backing musicians, including many frequent TSMF participants. McCaughey is a frequent sight on TSMF stages and was also a longtime auxiliary member of R.E.M.

Steve Wynn – First gaining prominence via the Dream Syndicate, one of the most important mid 80s indie bands, Wynn has spent the last 25 years charting a solo career full of memorable albums, countless great live shows and a tireless drive that never seems to let up. He and Scott McCaughey also formed The Baseball Project, a baseball-inspired combo that also includes Peter Buck.


Kev'n Kinney and Joseph Arthur, photo by Vivian Johnson, Todos Santos Music Festival, Baja, Mexico

Kev’n Kinney and Joseph Arthur, photo by Vivian Johnson

Kev’n Kinney – Kinney fronted Drivn N Cryin, a Georgia band that ripped up the charts 25 years ago with a catchy brand of intelligent hard rock that made them a formidable musical force. Kinney followed that with a batch of intriguing solo records showcasing his considerable songwriting talents. A longtime pal of Buck’s and a fave at the TSMF, Kinney’s classic song “Straight To Hell” has become something of an unofficial festival anthem.

Mark Eitzel – Eitzel fronted the American Music Club, one of America’s best kept secrets throughout a good chunk of the 1980s and early 1990s. AMC’s pioneering albums were hugely influential to many acts who followed them. Eitzel’s post-AMC career has been equally fascinating, mixing a variety of styles and sounds, all anchored by his brilliant songwriting. Eitzel is a longtime friend of Buck’s; they collaborated extensively on a 1997 solo album. This will be Eitzel’s first appearance at TSMF.