Guest post by Adrian Peel. Find him on Twitter @AdrianPeelCI
Female duo, Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit, are preparing to release their sophomore album, ‘Under Blue Skies'.
Calico the band - short for “California Country” - is returning with a new album, featuring standout tracks such as "Cold Cold Love," "The 405" and an inspired arrangement of the Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin'." The intimate and tight harmonies heard on the band's 2014 debut, Rancho California, are once again present.
"The title track came from the idea that we are all connected regardless of distance under that same big blue sky," explains Kirsten Proffit. "This is our first record as a duo rather than a trio, although we did keep a third part vocal harmony weaving throughout the songs, in addition to fiddle and guitars - and several songs feature pedal steel.
"We had a format of trading verses between the lead vocals on 'Rancho California,' however the new record features one lead vocal on each song. We approached the songwriting differently this time, allowing the songs to come from a more personal place.
"This record digs deeper into our personal experiences in life, love and on the road - on our first effort we were still discovering what we were capable of. We definitely made more of our signature guitar lines (played by Manda) and honed our ideas in pre-production, with the two of us and Matt Lucich (drums) and Ted Russell Kamp (bass)."
On the subject of the music on the album, Kirsten continues: "Each song has its own unique draw for us. 'Cold Cold Love' has been a favourite of ours to perform live; it is a raucous, rootsy western.
We love the recording, which features Dan Wistrom on the pedal steel and electric guitar and Aubrey Richmond on fiddle.
"We are so happy with the way that our cover of 'California Dreamin''came out. This is the one track that was produced and mixed by Jim Scott. Thematically, this record pulls from experiences we have had on tour ('Love Gets in the Way', 'Under Blue Skies', 'Into the Unknown', 'The Leaving Kind') and also our personal relationships in many cases."
Along with CALICO, Dwight Yoakam and Sam Outlaw are other fine examples of Californian country music. "We are certainly fans of Dwight and he does carry that Bakersfield sound forward," says Kirsten. "Sam Outlaw also has a 70s country vibe and some really strong material.
"One thing that’s unique with California’s country sound is the fusion of country and rock and roll that began in the late 60s and early 70s. Gram Parsons, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, on to Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and more.
This is the part of the evolution from which our influences are derived.
"We are butted up next to the great Pacific Ocean here, not an easy drive to Texas or Oklahoma. The cities are crowded but it is also the nation's biggest agricultural state, and the weather is incomparable. All of this has an impact on what happens artistically here."
Kirsten concludes: "We are hoping that this new record will reach a wider audience; we will go where it leads us. We are planning more overseas touring next year, going back to the UK and beyond in addition to continued touring within the US. We want to give this record every chance to be heard."
Under Blue Skies will be released on Friday, September 15.
TDC is pleased to premiere the video for "The Leaving Kind" which was recorded live at Dragonfly Creek.