Calexico and Iron & Wine release collaborative album ‘Years To Burn’ this coming Friday, 14th June via City Slang in UK/Europe (Sub Pop for the rest of the world). Today they precede the record’s release with a new Making Of mini-documentary which visits Joey Burns, John Convertino (Calexico) and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) in the studio.
Calexico and Iron & Wine will also be touring together, performing the collaborative tracks from this record, with dates including London’s Royal Festival Hall and a headline slot at Cambridge Folk Festival – details below.
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. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until last year that their schedules aligned.
‘Years to Burn’ was recorded in Nashville with noted producer Matt Ross-Spang over the course of five days at Sound Emporium, a fabled studio founded in the sixties by Cowboy Jack Clement and the site of countless landmark sessions in country and rock over the ensuing decades. It features contributions from veteran Calexico trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela and Paul Niehaus on pedal steel, along with frequent Beam cohorts Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio) on piano and Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) on bass.
‘Years to Burn’ features ten new original compositions. While Beam wrote all the songs for ‘In the Reins’, this recording features contributions from both Beam and Burns as well as from Convertino and those featured on the record. While the two may have taken differing approaches to songwriting, the spirit of collaboration was alive and well in the studio; Sam shared demos ahead of time and was ready for the others to con-tribute with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey spontaneous as ever, came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise.
“This project had to find the right time,” Joey concludes. “We’re all different people than we were in 2004, and music helps to bridge some of the gaps. For all the things going on in our world and in each of our lives, this connection, this friendship, this love that we have—this album is a vehicle for that bond. It’s a chance to see where we’re at, take stock and be there for our friends.”
‘Years To Burn’ is available 14th June via City Slang in the UK/Europe and Sub Pop in the rest of the world. Pre-order here: https://yearstoburn.lnk.to/album
Calexico & Iron & Wine UK tour dates:
2nd August – CAMBRIDGE – Cambridge Folk Festival
18th November – EDINBURGH – Usher Hall
19th November – LIVERPOOL – Philharmonic Hall
20th November – MANCHESTER – Bridgewater Hall
21st November – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre
23rd November – LONDON – Royal Festival Hall
24th November – BEXHILL-ON-SEA – De La Warr Pavillion
‘Years To Burn’ tracklist:
What Heaven’s Left
Midnight Sun (listen)
Father Mountain (listen)
Outside El Paso
Follow The Water
The Bitter Suite (Pájaro/Evil Eye/Tennessee Train)