Chris Castino

Gravity and the inevitable confluence of streams:
Chris Castino & Chicken Wire Empire

There’s an album in the making.

Gravity and the inevitable confluence of streams: Chris Castino & Chicken Wire Empire

Hello, Chris here. There’s an album in the making. In fact, its nearing completion and I’ve never been more excited about a record. Of course, last year saw the release of my debut solo album Brazil that you and I brought to life…only to become a casualty of Covid19. Despite our bad luck, we made a really good record, and quite well received by those who found it. And if we hadn’t made that record I probably wouldn’t be here now, on the threshold of my next album. We’ve been secretive about it. There’s so many incredible guests and performances, particularly by the fellas in Chicken Wire Empire who make up the core band throughout. So Chicken Wire Empire and I now share a little of the excitement with you. As a thank you for your contribution to this Kickstarter project we will leak to you, exclusively, more info on this very special project in our updates, here. We need your support now. Please help make this record by contributing $20, $40, or whatever you feel you can. Essentially you are pre-ordering a copy (vinyl or CD). By paying now, I’ll be able to knock down the bills I have for the project. For me, its always best to work with the best. I want to make a recording that will endure; music that I’ll someday share with my grandchildren. Your help now will empower this project more than your realize. Let’s get this out to the world. Be a part of our team! We’re so grateful for your involvement! Now some details about the music. Read More


Chris has logged over 1500 live performances, mostly with The Big Wu. Yet this record is designed to be in your room with you, over a nice set of headphones, on a radio station that gives a shit, while driving highways. Share this album with all those who really appreciate a good song. They’ll thank you. “I’m ready to kick this birdie out of the nest”, says Caz.

FEATURING the hymnal 3-part harmonies of “Happy Birthday, Janis: Tribute” vocalist Jill Mikelson and (The Voice finalist) Nicholas David. The rhythm section is JT Bates (Bon Iver, Dead Man Winter, Hiss) and Chad Whittaker (Annie Mack), drummer and percussionist Doug Christianson (Frogleg), and the beautiful Jimmy Rogers on bass (Bourdebela) super-talented Bettina Villamil on fiddles, the ever-romantic Gregg “Cheech” Hall on slide guitars, Jake “Killer” Ilika on guitar, and original Big Wu member Nate Eklund on Piano. Recorded by Dylan Nau who has worked with Nicholas David, Cory Wong, Dave King, Charlie Parr, Anthony Cox, JT Bates, Zacc Harris, Lady Lark, et al.

Thanks to Dylan (and his daughter Lydia) for everything including adding their own guitars, cellos, and other strings to the sound, as well. OK I think that’s everybody!


word on the street

City Pages

“Chris Castino – “Chinese Whispers” (PREMIERE)

Chris Castino is no stranger to highways. The Big Wu frontman has seen all of Minnesota in his career, and now he’s immortalized those journeys in his first solo album, Brazil. Vast and sincere, the record is suffused with the experience of the road. The video for lead single “Chinese Whispers” is stitched together from memories, a tableau of home movies that functions as a microcosm of the record. Brazil was released on March 13, so you can play it with your eyes closed from inside your lockdown, imagining the big state unfolding in the windshield before you.”

Chris Castino Dates

Big Wu Dates

What’s Up

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ANNOUNCE: We're headed back down to Chi Town on October 31 for another evening at City Winery Chicago. This time, our good friend Chris Castino of The Big Wu will be joining us!

Our last two shows at City Winery have sold out—so don't sleep on these tickets!

Tickets ON SALE NOW:

🎨: Stephanie Brusubardis
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

Aww shucks! Tonight's concert by the river in Trempealeau was cancelled due to rain. Please stay tuned for some exciting show announcements for Moi and my Bluegrass brethren CHICKEN WIRE EMPIRE this fall. LaCrosse, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Madison, and more! One bad day of weather ain't stoppin' this train! ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

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