Fess up—no matter how much you enjoyed last year’s Garden Ruin, you really missed those moody instrumental interludes and cross-border mash-ups. (If you didn’t like Garden Ruin, their absence is no doubt why.) Founding members John Convertino and Joey Burns may have missed them, too, for their latest tour CD features 15 evocative set pieces that run the worldly gamut: Left Bank accordion waltzes; snake-bit, Deadwood-esque sketches; Satie-colored piano abstracts; Spanish guitar fandangos; and a host of other international audio stops. Tool Box returns to the two-man format Calexico began as, and showcases two extraordinary musicians exchanging ideas as fecund as those of the best jazz duo. Convertino is the Max Roach of rock, his brushed nuance and taut press-rolls proof that the best can make a small kit sing, while Burns’ deep vibraphone shades, bowed cello and bass, and multiculti guitar chops provide the evocative flavors. Here’s hoping they never get this stuff out of their systems.
By John Schacht
Calexico Go Back To The Tool Box For New Instrumental Release
Tuesday June 26, 2007 @ 05:00 PM
By: ChartAttack.com Staff
Calexico had some recent down time from touring in support of their most recent LP, Garden Ruin. So much, in fact, that they recorded an instrumental album titled Tool Box.
The 14-track effort was recorded at Tucson, Arizona's Big Block Studio with engineer Mike Prado and mixed by Craig Schumacher at Wavelab in the same city. It will be available at the group's shows and through their website.
"The songs were written while tossing ideas around for a three day stretch and after we finished John [Convertino] suggesting asking Victor Gastelum if we could use one if [sic] his earlier works," singer/guitarist Joey Burns wrote on the site recently.
"For the recording process John and I ping-ponged parts and popped out the album in three days. We wanted to go back to basics and see what we could do with just a handful of instruments played between the two of us. It was fun and sounds good with lots of soundtrack worthy material and headphone friendly sounds for those who never leave home without their music bubble."
Convertino and Burns played acoustic and electric guitars, a Mexican waylacho (part of the guitar family), drums, upright bass, cello, vibes, accordion, glockenspiel, cuatro and banjo.
Calexico are recording new material for I'm Not There, the new Todd Haynes film about Bob Dylan. "So far what we've seen of the film is really good, especially the parts featuring Cate Blanchett," Burns reports.
The band are also working on new material and some cover songs in preparation for a summer European tour that kicks off in the Netherlands on July 5 and concludes with an appearance at the U.K.'s WOMAD Festival on July 28.