“Love the run but not race.” “I’d be ready as if I was waiting.” Lyrics hanged like apparitions among the back-and-forth’s of what tunes would be performed, the timeless mark of adoring fans.
Guatemalan singer Gaby Moreno hails from lands straight south of St. Louis, across the Louisiana Gulf Coast and the southernmost ends of Mexico, and brings with her a voice that’s far away and familiar, authentic and unapologetic, soft and strong. Like a glimmer of light across the wet parking lot. Her old guitar and way-southern charm would carry us through a bilingual set that included the classic “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás,” and would continue to shine as Tucson’s Calexico welcomed her to join the band for a handful of tunes.
This six, sometimes seven, member ensemble breezed through compositions that echo the dusty cantinas and triumphant landscapes of the American Southwest. Accompanied by a Magnatone amp that was finished being made just the day before the show in the company’s St. Louis factory, Joey Burns raises his hands to the sky and celebrates the city’s support for the band over the years. “This is the Twilighter,” the songwriter endorses with a wry smile.
Listen to the band’s recording of “Close Behind” and it may provoke thoughts of leaving the old town you’re from and heading out west on horseback to catch bad guys like a vigilante outlaw. But seeing the band live is a party, aside from the dulcet creepiness on “Frontera.” There may be no more fitting a soundtrack for a rainy fall night than their staple “Alone Again Or,” save for maybe the original version by Love’s Bryan MacLean.
Calexico with Gaby Moreno
Here’s a groovy video with Gaby Moreno just ’cause.