Calexico, a Tucson collective focused around Joey Burns and John Convertino, forged an eclectic identity through their exploration of Southwestern culture, Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Westerns, and '50s and '60s jazz, country, and surf. After a split with Friends of Dean Martinez founder Bill Elm in 1996, the duo began to get session work with a number of notable roots/Americana artists, and, in 1996, released their debut CD, Spoke, on Germany's Haus Musik. After signing with Quarterstick/Touch and Go, they released The Black Light in 1998 and The Hot Rail in 2000. The 2006 album, Garden Ruin, proved to be their most song-oriented release to date. ~ Robert Hick
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