It is no secret that I am a big fan of Iron and Wine, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear me give a warm review to Iron and Wine’s collaboration with Calexico on In the Reins. It is a hybrid to be sure, but the influence of both groups is evident, and fans of both will most likely enjoy this album. On first listen, it seemed much different from Iron and Wine’s other albums. After a few days in continuous rotation though, the songs are really Iron and Wine, just with a Calexico arrangement. I am relatively new to Calexico, but I am already a fan after picking up Feast of Wire a couple months ago. I would have trouble classifying their sound, but Amazon calls it a “blend of mariachi horns, soaring strident pedal steel, and jangly ’60s-era reverb guitars.” That is pretty close, and it makes for a nice complement to Iron and Wine’s poetry.
I am going to see Iron and Wine on Wednesday in Denver, and I would be surprised if we didn’t hear any tracks off of this album. Although Calexico isn’t ticketed to join Iron and Wine, I think it would be great if they made a surprise appearance.