Jake Fleischli formed the Tractor Kings as a two piece in 1998 with Rebecca Rury on drums. Playing local shows in the champaign/urbana area the two piece gained a following, and recorded it's first album Sunday Night with Joe Stover, released in 2001.
Jake reformed the band in 2002 to record the bands second album Gone to Heaven at Matt Talbott's (of HUM/Centaur) Great Western Record Recorders in the small railroad town of Tolono, IL. Gone to Heaven was released in 2003 and shortly after Jake Moved the T. Kings project up to Chicago. The Chicago line-up featured longtime friend and musician Mike "RM" Rackey (The Morningsides) on pedal steel and Guitars, Watseka native Marty Gray on drums, and Mary Weingartner (Suede Chain) on bass and violin.
The following year of touring and shows winded down with a show at CMJ that left Jake with unsettled feelings toward the music industry.
Collecting his thoughts and his 12-string guitar, Jake moved back to Champaign to reform the Tractor Kings, yet again, with Ben "Creech" Uchereck (Bloody Knuckles/Blackouts) on the drums, Aaron "Jibbski" McCallister (Monster Honkey/Emotional Rec Club) on bass and Steve Uchereck (Blackouts/Living Blue) sitting in on guitar when he wasn't touring with The Living Blue.
Ben left the band in 2006 to play full time in the Beauty Shop and Josh Lucas took stepped up and took over the drum department. The band plowed on playing local and regional shows until 2006 when they added Johnny "Chemical" Davidson as a full-time guitar player. With a full lineup and sound, the band returned to Tolono for another round at Talbott's Great Western to record the third and upcoming album "Homesick".
Soon after the record was finished being tracked, Josh left the band to pursue more culinary interests up north, leaving the door open for the return of Chicago-era Tractor Kings drummer Marty "Farmboy" Gray to move down to champaign and take over.
After a year or so in Champaign, Marty took a step back (or forward), in order to pursue his love of organic farming. With a CD release show coming up and shows out of town on the horizon, the band enlisted Johnny's brother Andrew Davidson (Chemicals, Living Blue, New Ruins) to take over Marty's position.
Since McCallister had already started playing with the Chemicals two months prior the band quickly streamlined itself into the psychedelic country rock machine it is today.
Over the years the Tractor Kings have shared the stage with artists such as Jeff Tweedy, Eric Bachman (Archers of Loaf/Crooked Fingers), Robbie Fulks, The Bottle Rockets, The Living Blue and many many others.
Now in 2009, the band has its third album "homesick" under its belt - released on Spur Records , while recording at McCallisters Home studio - yet to be named.
Marty left the band in late 2008 to pursue a career in organic farming, leaving the door open for Andrew davidson (ex-living blue/the chemicals/new ruins) to take over the drum throne. With hopes to do more touring and out of town shows in the future, the band moves on - gracing stages and abusing bar tabs.