Review of Calexico at the End Of The Road festival 2008

Review by Aline Giordano

Micah P Hinson at the End of the Road festival 2008I’ve been listening for a few weeks now to my recording of Calexico’s magnificent live set at this year’s End of the Road festival. I don’t think I could have hoped for a better finale. The set, which lasted an hour and a half, had the right balance of old favourites, from Feast of Wire (Sunken Waltz, Across the Wire, Cuero Canelo, Not even Steve Nicks) and songs from the brand new Carried to Dust album (Man Made Lake, Two Silver Trees, The News About William, Writer’s Minor Holiday, Inspiracion, Slowness, Fractured Air, Red Blooms and Victor Jara’s Hands). It was a perfect blend of latino sound and alternative country delivered by an international cast, from Berlin to Madrid via Tucson Arizona! We were taken through the meandering sounds and beats of Calexico. It was with Across The Wire, fourth song of the set, that the latino spirit really kicked in. Having rehearsed our Tucson-come-Mexican-cowboy screams with Joey himself, we were ready to party… and we did! Sunken Waltz was melancholic, low key, with superb accordion and slide guitars. All around me (myself included!) sang along. Joe dedicated Ballade of Cable Hogue to “John Peel’s spirit and all his friends”. All around me (myself included of course!) danced to the story of the betrayed cowboy, wriggling on his hangin’ rope. It was so uplifting! Every ingredient that makes a truly enjoyable festival finale was there: The band played the songs with great precision, delivering an amazing sound - the trumpets on Roka from my modest recording sound so clear! Joe Burns was in great form. He was particularly talkative and improvised lyrics on Writer’s Minor Holiday. He managed, to the delight of the crowd, to have a few pints of the local hot cider delivered onstage, which he then passed out to the audience. It was a genuine symbolic gesture of cordial hospitality and sharing… the sharing of the love for great music.

For more details, visit… Calexico's website

Photograph © Aline Giordano 2008

Review of the End of the Road festival at Larmer Tree Gardens