CALICO the band, short for “California Country”, is set to release their sophomore album, Under Blue Skies, on July 21st. With all its musical intricacy and lyrical eloquence, Under Blue Skies embraces the signature sun-drenched, California country sound founder and leaders Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit have made their own. The intimate, tightly harmonized songs of Under Blue Skies will be out on CD and Digital download release through Mosher and Proffit’s own imprint, California Country Records LLC.
“We dug in deeper on this record from a songwriting standpoint,” Manda says, “because we’ve spent so much time together, we feel more comfortable expressing vulnerability in the lyrics; there are definitely more love songs. There’s certainly meaning to Rancho California, but it’s more broad strokes; on Under Blue Skies, we were able to dig in and get more personal.”
So it goes with the opening track “Fine Line,” the quintessential story of so many aspiring artists that come to L.A. in hopes of realizing their dreams. Everyone in Southern California that makes their way along the miles of freeway knows the “The 405,” the title of Proffit’s only solely-penned album track, on which love blossoms against the backdrop of an all-too-familiar L.A. The chorus goes, ‘We’ve got life behind us, open skies above and the walls of the canyon on either side/In front of us now is a great divide, and there’s nothing between us but the 405.’ Other songs, like “Roll Away the Stone”, blends the luminous textures of voices over stringed instruments, illuminating the struggle of overcoming addiction through the eyes of one willing to share the burden.
Kirsten and Manda finished the record with the perfect homage to Southern California and musical influence, the Mamas & the Papas classic “California Dreamin”.
On their first offering in 2014, Paul Zollo, of American Songwriter Magazine, writes, "Just when it seemed that the term ‘Americana’ was being hopelessly diluted and unfocused, along comes CALICO the band to define the term for us with new vigor and focus. In the hands and spirit of these gifted ladies, Americana is reborn in the spirit of Laurel Canyon, the spirit of the great songwriters (Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, etc.) who flourished there. It’s there in lyrics which speak with urgency of modern times, with music of great passion and beauty, cloaked in warm acoustics and close harmonies. Rancho California picks up that torch and lights up these lyrical songs with great purity and love." All these sentiments, and more, still hold true for Under Blue Skies.
It was just before Christmas, 2016, when CALICO the band headed to Jim Scott’s PLYRZ Studio in Santa Clarita with their rhythm section of bassist Ted Kamp and drummer Matt Lucich, augmented by a crew of all-star players including Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Neal Casal on 12-string electric, Patrick Warren on keys and Kaitlin Wolfberg. It is somewhat ironic, in a California kind of way, that the Americana beauty of Under Blue Skies came together during Cali’s drought-ending rains. CALICO the band pairs their power of voice with their deeply-felt, lyrical emotions of Sunshine and Rain, Love and Pain, Hope and Reality.
CALICO the band on tour:
May 21 River View Park Buellton, CA
Jul 11 The Barlow - Outdoor Stage Sebastopol, CA
Sept 12-17 Americana Fest Nashville, TN