The Americana of Calico The Band at Hotel Cafe

After an initial slow start, The California Americana Country group, Calico The Band, went on to defied expectations and eventually wowed and won over their audience at Hotel Cafe on August 31. Their impressive 12-song set caught fire, going from strength to strength, building upon the momentum of their album release show for their sophomore LP, “Under Blue Skies,” due out on September 15. Calico The Band performed the album in its entirety.

Images of Calico The Band courtsey of Donna Balancia

Showcasing their vocal and instrumental prowess on guitars as well their strong songwriting chops, Calico The Band, featuring the female duo of Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit, offer up a likable, winning combination. The duo, dressed in eclectic Western garb, is strongly influenced by the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s, in particular, what was coming out of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, CA.

Images of Calico The Band courtsey of Donna Balancia

Their shimmering, melodic harmonies powered the memorable, original material. Each song has its own mood and possesses original points of view. All are worthy of repeated listenings because the numbers are composed of timeless, universal lyrical themes (modern themes as well) that are personal and also reveal their vulnerability.

The standout numbers included a lovely cover version of the The Mamas & Papas’ “California Dreamin’” with guest vocalist Alice Wallace, “Free Man” performed with another guest vocalist Jason Charles Miller, “The 405,” and “Cold, Cold Love” which included Steve Berns, the co-producer on “Under Blue Skies,” who also played guitar on the song live.

Images of Calico The Band courtsey of Donna Balancia

Supported by a group of talented backing musicians, Calico The Band’s country rock style was further augmented and rounded out with a full, richer sound courtesy of Johnny Hawthorn (lap steel), Ted Russell Kamp (bass), Kaitlin “Wolfy” Wolfberg (violin) and Matt Lucich on drums.

A hearty and heartfelt rocking performance by Calico The Band makes them a must-see live act one wouldn’t dare miss. This duo turns static, homogenized Americana music sharply on its ear. Calico The Band leaves the sometimes stereotypical music in the dust, taking a creative detour, forming a singular identity all its own.

 

SET LIST

The Leaving Kind
Fine line
Roll Away The Stone
The 405
California Dreamin’
Under The Blue Skies
Free man
Love Gets In The Way
Into The Unknown
Come To Me
Fly Me Away
Cold, Cold Love

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Images of Calico The Band courtesy of Donna Balancia