Iron & Wine / Calexico: Collaborative Reins

Matchmaking is dangerous business. Many of us have, at one time or another, tried to link those two friends who are “just perfect for one another,” and ended up with a huge explosion on our hands. Or worse, no fireworks at all.

Suppose, though, you are Howard Greynolds, owner of Overcoat Records, and you have friends who are as talented as the dusty Tucson-based band Calexico and Iron and Wine songwriter Sam Beam. You must look at matchmaking as a slightly less risky prospect. In The Reins, the seven-song EP for Overcoat that resulted when Greynolds encouraged the two bands to meet up, reads like a wedding invitation: this is what happens when like-minded souls merge brainpower, share a collective moment of romance and allow it to blossom into a deep and meaningful relationship.

The idea originated three years ago when Greynolds – who engineered a similar collaboration between Tortoise and Will Oldham – suggested that Calexico serve as the backing band for Iron and Wine

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