Calexico’s New Sound

Tucson band Calexico has built up a loyal following over the years, based on a unique, expansive sound that runs the gamut from mariachi to bluegrass to jazz and a few stops in-between. Their latest album, Garden Ruin, though, is a big departure from that sound, and sounds heavily influenced by their recent work with Sam Beam (Iron & Wine). Tired of being pigeonholed, Calexico singer/guitarist/accordionist Joey Burns talked to the SF Chronicle about the evolution of the “Calexico sound,” and how the nuances and subtleties of that sound have been lost on some people over the years:

“Here in the States we’ve been written off in reviews as white guys playing mariachi music… people don’t hear the Portuguese fado influence, or the Gypsy influence, or how the use of the accordion relates to Eastern Europe.”

If you’re in the Bay Area, you can catch up with Calexico tonight and tomorrow at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Otherwise, check out a minute-long snippet of “Praskovia”, a track from Calexico’s 2004 EP Convict Pool that prominently features Burns’ accordion:

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