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Calexico And Iron & Wine: Tiny Desk Concert

Joey Burns and John Convertino had just about seen it all. Their band, Calexico, has been around for nearly a quarter-century, and in that time together they've churned out a long string of albums and collaborated with countless musicians on countless projects. But they'd never set foot behind the Tiny Desk until the day we recorded this performance.

By contrast, their pal Sam Beam — best known as the man behind Iron & Wine, with whom Calexico had just released a new album called Years to Burn — was already a Tiny Desk veteran. Beam recorded a solo set as Iron & Wine in 2011, then returned with singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop six years later, and he took great pains to gently tease the Calexico guys for taking so long. ("It's fun to be back," he noted between songs, adding, "Isn't it, Joey?")

Of course, "taking so long" is a part of this particular project's M.O. Calexico and Iron & Wine first made a record together back in 2005, when they released In the Reins, and took 14 years to release a follow-up. This set perfectly captures the easy patience of their interplay, as Burns, Convertino, Beam and a few of their most trusted collaborators performed two songs from Years to Burn. Then, as a reminder of the adage about good things coming to those who wait, they closed with "He Lays in the Reins," for a Tiny Desk debut more than a decade in the making.

SET LIST

  • "Father Mountain"
  • "Midnight Sun"
  • "He Lays in the Reins"
  • MUSICIANS

    Sam Beam: guitar, vocals; Joey Burns: guitar, vocals; John Convertino: drums, percussion; Robert Burger: keys, guitar; Sebastian Steinberg: bass, guitar; Jacob Valenzuela: trumpet, vocals

    CREDITS

    Producers: Stephen Thompson, Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Jeremiah Rhodes, Bronson Arcuri, Beck Harlan; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Paul Georgoulis; Photo: Shuran Huang/NPR

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)