So, um, holy cow, Calexico is a band of talented musicians. The performers, hailing from different states and even nations, each moved through at least 14 different instruments throughout the set – every member played a minimum of one other instrument at some point. The eclectic mix of instruments and styles makes each Calexico song stand out as individual. In general, their sound is hard to pin down for that reason – there are songs that clearly have the heavy mariachi or Latino element, and others that don’t at all. The mostly older crowd seemed to appreciate this diversity.
We arrived a little late, so they were at the point where they were playing their crowd-pleasing older stuff. Their newest album, Edge of the Sun, gets a ton of airtime on WFPK, so that is what I am most cognizant of. I especially enjoy a lot of their collaborative work, which apparently (after hearing them talk to Laura Shine the day of the show in studio) is something they really like doing. For me, if you attach Neko Case, Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) or Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) to anything, it’s gonna be good. Calexico’s 2015 album certainly proves my point.
I had been looking forward to this one for a while and the artistry on display definitely worked for me.