pedalboard

Calexico’s Joey Burns (left) and John Convertino (right).

The globally-inspired band taps a United Nations of collaborators to create a sonic stew of cumbia, mariachi, Latin rock, and alt-country on their 10th studio album, the effervescent El Mirador.

For forward-thinking modern artists, experimentation across genres and generations is nothing new. Whether it’s layering acoustic and digital sounds, adding pop flavor to blues-rock, or blending funk, R&B, reggae, and hip-hop, it can seem like there’s no other option than to stir all the multicolor, variegated influences of the past into something that’s refreshingly not quite any of the above. But when it comes to psych-folk, Latin-rock, alt-country group Calexico, melding musical worlds is not as much an experiment as it is an instinct.

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Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Rig Rundown: Wolf Alice's Joff Oddie

Joff Oddie shows PG his own Jag-Master creation and then plasters it with pedals bending (and distorting) space and time.

Listening to the tidal wave in “Giant Peach,” the riotous “Moaning Lisa Smile,” or the punked-up “Play the Greatest Hits,” it’s hard to imagine Wolf Alice as an acoustic duo. Then talk to Joff Oddie about his integral use of effects—“These pedals can do such crazy things; to not do crazy things with things that can do crazy things seems odd”—and the band’s origin story becomes even more improbable. But it’s true: Wolf Alice started with guitarist/singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Oddie playing acoustic-folk music during open-mic nights in North London pubs.

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