Ballad Of Cable Hogue

Calexico Ballad Of Cable Hogue(City Slang)


Ballad Of Cable Hogue(City Slang)

As opening lyrical salvos go, you just don't get much better than this. "I live out yonder where the snakes and scorpions run...", Calexico's deeply Southern Joey Burns drawls, setting up a narrative framework for what follows: a call-and-response ballad with a French lady named Marianne Dissard, which recalls the duets of Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood as well as Nick Cave's sinister 'Where The Wild Roses Grow'. They tell a tale of gun-slinging and doomed love among the tumbleweeds, to the tune of a spaghetti-western mariachi band. It's a small departure for Calexico, whose wonderfully shadowy 1998 'The Black Light' LP was largely instrumental, but this expansion is as discomforting as it is affecting. It's gothic folk. It's a cinematic vista of a dusty country road with a serial killer lurking at the end. And it is, in its own weird, tortillas-and-roadkill kind of way, genius.

April Long

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