Iron & Wine/Calexico: Joey Burns, John Convertino, Paul Niehaus, Sam Beam, Martin Wenk, Jacob Valenzuela, Volker Zander.
Additional personnel: Salvador Duran, Natalie Wyants (vocals); Craig Schumacher, Nick Luca.
Audio Mixer: Craig Schumacher.
Recording information: Wavelab Studios.
Two indie-rock acts with remarkably devoted followings and a shared innate talent for creating dusty rural atmospheres, Iron & Wine and Calexico are naturally suited for collaboration, and IN THE REINS proves to be exactly what fans of both bands might imagine. Here Iron & Wine singer/songwriter Sam Beam offers up seven original tunes, with the full Calexico band--led by multi-instrumentalist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino--contributing an appropriately moody and intuitively dynamic backdrop. Like the WOMAN KING EP, this mini-album features Beam--best known for his hushed, minimal sound--working on a much larger scale, with horns, harmonica, organ, and prominent percussion adding to the disc's cinematic scope. The EP's only notable fault (if it can be called that) is its brevity; less than 28 minutes long, IN THE REINS is bound to leave listeners wanting more.
Rolling Stone (No. 984, p.154) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[S]ounds like an indie update of Bruce Springsteen's NEBRASKA moved 300 miles to the Southwest...."
Entertainment Weekly (No. 841, p.90) - "...These perfectly matched temperaments have created something heartbreaking and haunting--the sonic equivalent of curtains billowing in an open window." - Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) (p.64) - Ranked #8 in Mojo's "2005 Americana Albums Of The Year."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The famed Calexico textures add menace to gripping ballad 'Prison On Route 41', a dark giddiness to the title track, and clutter Red Dust's Southern swampiness with bleached bones."
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