JPR Live Session: Calexico

Jul 16, 2015

Calexico is no stranger to negotiating borders. For the better part of two decades, eight albums, and countless trips around the globe, founding members Joey Burns and John Convertino have crossed musical barriers with their band, embracing a multitude of diverse styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds.

Now, with their new album Edge of the Sun, Burns and Convertino find themselves straddling that celestial division of light and dark, taking inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way. “When I step back from this record I see the spirit of collaboration,” says Burns. “As we began working on it, we started inviting people and it was a natural thing. We’ve always welcomed guests; it’s in our DNA. John and I are really good at hopping in to play with people and improvise but we’re also sensitive to what artists need.” “We’ve collaborated a lot in the past on other records but this one is the most vastly collaborative,” says Convertino. “Almost every song has a different guest.

The ‘edge of the sun’ could be coming from the direction of darkness seeking light, or riding the line between both,” says Burns. “Which side of this edge are you on? Traversing along the edge of the sun, that to me feels closest to what this album is and what the band has been, and where we are with this international makeup of musicians. Madrid, Nashville, Tucson, El Paso, Berlin; it’s an eclectic mix. All in all, this album is about pushing through the blue to brighter days. Calexico has always had that element of hope, going back and forth between a positive outlook and embracing desperate or dark themes that I think we all share.