Saturday, September 16, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 29 - Calico the Band - Under Blue Skies

I spend a considerable amount of time trying to keep up with new music but, be that as it may, one of the greatest delights is to stumble upon something quite unexpected.
Exactly this happened yesterday evening and just how it came about eludes me now. I was feeling somewhat 1970s-nostalgic. I could have listened to all sorts of things. Stevie Nicks, CSNY and even Simon & Garfunkel came to mind, but for some reason I decided to try to find something new, at least to me, that fitted the required specification. By luck or judgement I happened upon a review of this LP. It sounded promising so I listened and it was just what I needed.

Under Blue Skies - Calico The Band (California Country Records, 15 September 2017).

Of course you can hear their influences beyond those mentioned already:  Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and also their predecessors including The Beatles as well as others less well known.  That is not even to mention a cover of John and Michelle Phillips' co-written California Dreamin'. It is one of those songs, and they are numerous, that is recognized by most but the origin of which is known by few. 
With three female vocalists Calico the Band doesn't really sound like any of them. Nor does it sound anything like bands from Texas with the same format but coming from quite different musical bases. The themes are often similar but the treatment very different.
This means that there is a significant population that will hate it and everything it represents. I accept that to be so, but I am not of that mind.

This is indeed the band's second album. In the spirit of research I thought that I should also investigate their first LP too. Why not?

Rancho California - Calico The Band (2 September 2014, California Country Records).

I like it just as much, so that's a win-win situation.  Another way to describe it that came to mind as if in a dream is to imagine that The Pistol Annies came into a bit of money and headed west in search of the dream.

This is the song 'Runaway Cowgirl' from the album 'Rancho California'.

And this is 'The 405' from the LP 'Under Blue Skies'.

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