Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns, and John Convertino together. In 2019, the two acts collaborated again for Years to Burn, a full-length album. Calexico and Iron & Wine then launched a North American tour together, and they perform at The Anthem on Friday, Feb. 7.
Accompanied by second guitarist Bill Mackay, Ryley Walker’s music is an expert amalgamation reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s live “space” passages, Pat Metheny’s delicately picked jazz guitar, and today’s proliferation of post-rock bands. Although the songs largely “felt” like instrumentals due to the extended improvisational sections, Ryley’s occasional vocals owed much to the influence of Nick Drake and John Martyn during his performance opening for Calexico at the Lincoln Theatre on Friday.
Calexico’s Joey Burns is a gentleman. Aside from his easy-going banter between songs, his musical generosity toward his bandmates, and the stellar renditions of his compositions, he made sure to thank the adoring Lincoln Theater crowd repeatedly throughout his band’s performance on Friday, with a special shout-out to those parents of small children who went through considerable effort to be there. As we were to learn, the Calexico frontman knew firsthand of what he spoke.
Calexico, the seven-man Arizona-based Americana band, released The Thread That Keeps Us, their ninth studio album in January via Epitaph Records. Led by founders Joey Burns and John Convertino, Calexico are touring their new material with a stop at the Lincoln Theatre on Friday, April 27.