Winter NAMM 2013

Meet Calico, The Band


Phil Short of Fender introduced me to Calico yesterday: three female singer-songwriters from the greater LA area who were making names for themselves on the regional circuit, garnering success as performers and writers, when they met several months ago, found a kindred spirit, and joined their talents and aspirations.

They’re hoeing what we’ll call (for lack of better terms) a roots/Americana row: they remind me of the very early days of so-called “country rock,” when the music was more acoustic, less slickly produced, closer to its pre-pop “old-timey” forbears. I hear echoes (in the female register) of groups like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Pure Prairie League, and American Beauty-era Grateful Dead. It’s a sound they call California Country.

Manda Mosher, Kirsten Proffit, and Jaime Wyatt have recognized their musical sisterhood by adopting the personas of Perry Rose, Juniper, and Snap Dragon Calico (names chosen to honor their influences or reflect their personalities). All sing (of course), and they’re forging skillful and effective vocal arrangements employing alternating lead vocals and multi-part harmonies. Their voices work well together. Among them, they play banjo, mandolin, guitar, and harp (as in harmonica), for a variety of acoustic textures; they’ve been writing and recording together for the past several months, have produced a 4-song EP, and are working on a full release.

During their visit to Gretschland, they fell in love with the Roots Collection instruments, talked with Phil, and played their version of “Wayfaring Stranger” for us in the behind-the-scenes green room. I enjoyed their engaging “room-temperature” performance.

Click below for the video, and see what you think.

Calico The Band: Wayfaring Stranger

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I could listen to them all day, beautiful harmony vocals. Melancholy, but easy on the soul.

I’ve seen something I like. A lot.

Very nice stuff. I think a Gretsch 6 string banjo is in my future.

The Calico performance was really something. Great harmonies and a very nice demonstration of the roots line of instruments.

Very nice. They’re easy on the eye as well. Welcome to the world of Gretsch, Ladies.

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