The GCO covers many genres in their crazy eclectic music mix and it all falls under ART-ROCK JAZZ FUSION.


Call it what you will, but it's artsy is hell and it ROCKS!

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra  has been freakin' minds for 6 years! Since 2009, the band has stretched their own musical limits with album after album of intensely energetic ART-ROCK. Definition of ART-ROCK: A type of rock music, often with poetic lyrics, characterized by sophisticated harmonic, dynamic and technical complexity based on forms derived from classical (and jazz) music and requiring performers of considerable training and skill. It sounds so serious, but when you combine that type of music with four fun-loving musicians who don't take themselves too seriously and who have a love of so much music beyond art-rock (which is why the band covers songs from Otis Rush's All Your Love to Whipping Post to When the Levee Breaks to YYZ), you get a bit of magic in live music form. The band writes and performs music that excites them and has a blast doing it! The GCO appreciates and aspires to superior musicianship while combining their love of a good riff, hummable melody and groovy jam... over a jazz/jazz-rock musical bedrock. It all culminates in an intensely energetic live performance because "we freakin' love what we do and love that the fans dig it too!! "

What other bands do we sound like? We have been compared to King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dixie Dregs, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. 


The bastard sons (and daughter) of Rush and Ralph Stanley.
— Chris from Binghamton, NY
The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra sounds like Bela Fleck meets Rush, goes out to breakfast with John Coltrane, and gets home in time to go golfing with Jeff Beck.
— Jay from St. Cloud, MN

STORY BEHIND THE NAME: When the band started up in 2009, we wanted gigs, but didn't have any recorded music yet, so we had to have a name that turned heads. Our first drummer came up with name, which is a controversial one... We didn't know about the Galactic Cowboys. But, if you're going to get your panties tied up in a knot over this, doesn't the band Galactic have it in for both the GCs and The GCO?? To quote Will Ferrell as Neil Diamond, "Everybody just cool out... COOL OUT!!"

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: This band is all bassist John Wright's fault! He had a hankerin' to play some crazy technical riffs and original drummer, Mark O'Day, and guitarist Dan Neale were up for it. From there, Lisi wiggled her way into the band and the rest is history. We've been humpin' it since '09 with 5 CDs to our name (our 6th release, Earth Lift, is due out LATE SUMMER/FALL 2015!) and lots of road trips in a van with a trailer and two road-dogs - Nicko and Jakey. We've covered North, NE, SE, Mid-South and Mountain regions and we're working on headed even further West, further East (as in EUROPE) and further North (as in CANADA)! Suggestions on where we should play? Please click and shoot an email Lisi's way! 


Lisi Wright – Violin/Vocals – Lisi started playing the violin at the age of 5 on a cute little 1/4-size violin. From there, she has played in a few country bands - Tim Sigler Band, Mark Stary & The Whiskey Roses and you can still find her on stage with The Geoff Elvee Band - as well as popping in for a couple years with Martin Zellar & The Hardways and playing the occasional Mick Sterling, Shalo Lee or Alison Scott gig.  Lisi, aka Elisa, is the founder/president of New Folk Booking. She is endorsed by Bridge Violins.

Important things to know about Lisi:

  • I'M OBSESSED WITH RUSH! Witch Hunt, Circumstances, Armor & Sword, Driven, Anthem, Natural Science, Jacob's Ladder, The Wreckers, Peaceable Kingdom, Passage to Bangkok, on and on and on, baby. The are, in fact, the GREATEST BAND EVER! I can tell you exactly why, just ask me some time. And, yes, I love The Beatles too. And Soundgarden. And Metallica. And Collective Soul. And, of course, lots of other bands too. :) Oh, and JERRY GOODMAN FOR PRESIDENT
  • I eat dessert in the morning - dark chocolate salted caramels! - unless I'm aware of a better dessert that is waiting for me later in the day or unless it's going to be crazy hot, then it's a McDonald's ice cream cone. Dessert is very important and needs to be taken into consideration ALWAYS.
  • I fret for my lattes
  • I love a good craft beer and brew with my Bro and Pa. The Pa grows hops on the farm - I grew up on a hog farm - so we use the fresh hops in our yummy brews!.. well, they're usually yummy, at least. Dessert Island Beer = Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale or Pale Ale. Sierra Nevada - that's one smart brewery! Honorable mentions: Stone's Arrogant Bastard, Left Hand's Milk Stout, Victory's Dirt Wolf, Surly Furious and a Summit EPA or Saga never hurt nobody! 

Dan Neale – Guitars/Vocals – Dan Neale is one of the Twin Cities’ most adored pickers. He has played with Bo Diddley and has performed as a guest artist and a fill-in for Pat Donohue on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” He also performed with Chuck Leavell (keyboard player, The Rolling Stones), Hutch Hutchinson (bass player, Bonnie Raitt) and Kenny Arnoff (drummer, John Mellencamp) in the 50th Anniversary Buddy Holly Tribute, backing such greats as Graham Nash and Wanda Jackson.

Photo by Donald Jay Olson

Photo by Donald Jay Olson

John Wright – Bass/Vocals – John Wright first made his mark in the Minnesota Music scene in 1989 where his versatility on the bass found him onstage with  Pop Fusion/New Age guitarist Billy McLaughlin as well as his own Progressive rock band US, who's debut recording made the cover of the College Music Journal. As the years ensued John found himself in many different musical environment's  from Blues and Soul legend Mick Sterling to a four year run with Minnesota Pop star Tim Mahoney.  In 1999, he found time to form the critically acclaimed Celtic/American Folk-Rock trio Lehto and Wright, still active to this day. Concurrent to his live performances, John has developed his skills as a recording engineer/producer with over 75 full length CDs and countless other sessions on his resume, making him a in-demand producer in Minnesota and beyond. He is the founder of The Villa Recording Studio in Savage, MN.

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Alec Tackmann – Drums/Percussion/Vocals – 

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Alec Tackmann has been a musician for most of his life. He started on piano as a kindergartener until switching to drums in his early teens. From then until graduation he participated in nearly every musical opportunity possible including school marching band, jazz band, private lessons, and numerous garage bands.

After high school Alec was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. While at Berklee, Alec studied primarily under Rick Considine and Terri Lyne Carrington among many outside including Mike Mangini, Kenny Aronoff, Blair Sinta, and Steve Goold. After four years he completed his Bachelor of Music in drum set performance including an internship at Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA.

Upon finishing Berklee, Alec moved back to Minnesota to build a career as an independent musician; keeping a rigorous performing schedule while maintaining a private teaching studio of roughly 45 students per week.

Alec is the author of the GoAndPractice series of drum instructional books, based upon his popular YouTube channel of the same name.

Photo by Donald Jay Olson - he's fantastic!


It is very important for you all to know the we travel with two road-dogs as mentioned above, Nicko Geddy Wright and Jakey Alex Wright. Lisi had wanted to name Nicko Geddy originally, but John thought it was cheesy, so we went with Nicko after Iron Maiden's drummer. But, you now understand why Jakey's middle name is Alex. If you don't, Google 'Geddy' - you'll find it. Here are the photos. You're welcome: