Califone at the Raccoon Motel -- September 21.

Thursday, September 21, 7 p.m.

Raccoon Motel, 315 East Second Street, Davenport IA

With the group's 2023 album Villagers hailed by Treblezine as "a richly layered record whose graceful arrangements land with a particular nuance," the experimental rockers of Califone headline a September 21 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, their latest release inspiring Beats Per Minute to rave that "Each minute of Villagers feels like home."

After the breakup of his former band Red Red Meat, frontman Tim Rutili formed Califone as a solo project in the mid-1990s. Rutili's individual effort, however, soon became a full-fledged musical project with a regular and rotating list of contributors, including many former members of Red Red Meat and some members of other Chicago bands. As Rutili explained at Coke Machine Glow, Califone started as a home project: "The statement of intent would have been 'easy listening' compared to what we were doing with Red Red Meat. This was supposed to be making little pop songs out of found pieces. It was supposed to be just a little home project, and it slowly grew from there. Now it seems like just about anything goes." Califone's sound is a combination of Red Red Meat's blues-rock and experimental music, with inspiration drawn from early American folk music, pop, as well as electronic and groups such as Psychic TV. Listeners familiar with Red Red Meat can quickly tell that Califone is not an attempt to revive the old band, as elements from a number of musical styles contribute to their distinctive sound.

As stated at, "Their first proper album, 2001's Roomsound, was a bracing fusion of roots music and experimental influences, and it fared well with critics; the band spent plenty of time on the road after it came out, headlining small clubs and playing larger venues as an opening act for Wilco. Califone followed it with a remarkable burst of creativity, issuing five albums between 2002 and 2006, including Deceleration One and Deceleration Two (two sets of improvised music created to accompany experimental films Quicksand/Cradlesnakes (a more confident variant on the themes of their debut LP), Heron Creek Blues (which delivered a more bracing mix of the peaceful and the noisy), and Roots & Crowns, which boasted richer arrangements and production."

In 2019, continued, "They set out on an intimate concert tour, playing house shows and small venue events, and they wrote and recorded new music for a dance piece choreographed by Robyn Mineko William. The piece, Echo Mine, debuted in December 2019 in Chicago, and Califone's score was released by Jealous Butcher Records in February 2020. 2023's Villagers was produced by Rutili in collaboration with long-time collaborator Brian Deck, and Michael Krassner, who appeared on Stitches and Echo Mine. This time, Rutili's experimental side was buffered by semi-acoustic arrangements on several songs and a sound that showed the influence of '70s soft rock tropes."

Califone performs his Davenport engagement on September 21 with an opening set by Settings, admission to the 7 p.m. concert is $17, and tickets are available by visiting

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