CALICO the Band is three: Kirsten Proffit, Manda Mosher, and Aubrey Richmond. All are great and dedicated musicians, each with accomplished and celebrated solo careers under way. That is, until Calico brought them together. As powerful as each is individually, an undeniable magic occurs when all three come together. It’s at the heart of their debut album, Rancho California, which is replete with singularly strong songwriting chops, rich harmonies, and a pervasive Americana passion. Like the expansive spirit of Laurel Canyon that spawned so many famous bands and artists, now comes this new spirit, rooted in the vast valleys and canyons of L.A.
Calico stands for California country, and also for the cat that appeared at Manda’s door one dark night, and a ghost town about halfway between L.A. and Vegas. It’s in the gentle mystery of that cat, and in that dusty stretch of desert that their music starts, haunted by Western ghosts of the past, but gentle with modern spirits, too, all blown together like tumbleweeds towards the big city. Calico is about that eternal place where the big city meets that lonely desert, where the freeways converge at the ocean. It’s about timeless roots music; it’s about voices singing in harmony.
“We’re very connected to a community of artists and venues that are flying the Americana flag,” said Manda, “deeply influenced by the old scenes from the Palomino days, the Bakersfield Country sound from Buck Owens carried on by Dwight Yoakam, the sound of Gram Parsons music, Joshua Tree and more.” “We’re here to tell people that Americana music is very much alive,” said Kirsten, “and California is a viable source for this style. We’re passionate about carrying on the tradition by incorporating these influences, but through a new lens, and always with respect.”
CALICO the band extends the tradition of groups like Crosby, Stills & Nash, Fleetwood Mac and Eagles, both in terms of their L.A. roots, and by being a band of songwriters. “When you have bands where everybody’s a songwriter,” said Manda, “and everybody could lead on their own, and have a lead voice, but share that, it is powerful. That is who we are.” Indeed CALICO the band is much about sharing: about sharing a musical vision, as well as sharing verses, sharing harmonies, sharing a singular spirit. “Bands that have more than one songwriter can be problematic,” said Aubrey, “or just brilliant. And Calico is brilliant. All of our different songs and visions combine to make something great.”
Formed in 2012, CALICO the band started touring right away performing over 130 shows a year, which led to receiving National Touring Artist of the Year for the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2013. They’re known for their electrifying shows deemed “jaw dropping” by Neil Portnow, President of The GRAMMYs. Their debut album Rancho California releases on September 2nd on California Country Records, LLC distributed by Smith Entertainment Group. The first single, “High Road,” adds at radio on August 25th. Focus tracks are: “Fool’s Gold”, “San Andreas Shake”, and “Runaway Cowgirl”.
This year they played at STAGECOACH Festival 2014 along with many of today’s top Country and Americana acts, and were joined onstage by special Foo Fighter guests, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee. You can hear CALICO the band’s music on TV shows such as ABC’s hit series Nashville, and NBC’s The Night Shift.
Aubrey Richmond is a celebrated and award-winning violinist/fiddler as well as a gifted singer-songwriter. A respected and sought-after live and studio musician, she’s performed and recorded with a vast array of artists of every genre, as well as GRAMMY and award-winning producers and songwriters. Her credits include working with Shooter Jennings, Jason Charles Miller, Dan Navarro and the Celtic Tenors, to name a few. From sitting in and trading licks with world-class musicians at home, to performing with bands all over the globe, she’s opened for Nashville legends Martina McBride and Tim McGraw, renowned rock band Alice in Chains, and acclaimed songwriter JD Souther. Her playing can also be heard in many TV shows, commercials and movies, including My One and Only, “Sons of Anarchy,”“90210”, “True Blood,” “Devil’s Ride” and “Togetherness.”
Hanz Araki Trio
Photo - Jilly Landcaster
– bodhrán, vocals
“…splendid, absolutely fabulous”
– BBC Wales, Celtic Heartbeat
“Araki’s distinctive voice, while definitely in the folk tradition, carries a lot of emotion; Throughout, the instrumental work is exceptional.”
– The Irish Edition
Award-winning traditional Irish flute player
will be joined by guitarist Cary
Novotny, and vocalist and bodhrán player Colleen Raney to celebrate the
release of a new album, titled Foreign Shore. Recently called “An Irish
Music phenomenon in West Coast America” by Irish Music Magazine, Araki is
known for his uncluttered and honest approach to traditional Irish and
“The musicianship is superb …achingly beautiful; a real delight.”
– Fatea Magazine
M Mark Graham with Lauren Sheehan
Lauren clearly loves and inhabits the music she performs, shape shifting through th oods of the familiar and the obscure, howling with the werewolf and weeping with the willow. Her gifted guitar work, stylistic breadth and vocals are inspired by her study with elders, oral tradition and scholarship. With all of that tradition behind her, she re-creates the intimacy of a back porch, where singing and playing were regular events.
Lauren began playing guitar at 10, discovered traditional, social and dance music in her early 20’s, then jumped into living acoustic blues up at Centrum’s Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival in her 30’s, picking up mandolin and banjo along the way.
“An asshole in a giant puppet head”
An evening with Mark Graham is a trip to a rip-roaring, old-time slugfest illuminated by great flashes of wit and fascinating insight into “the human condition” Mark Graham is one of the most clever and inventive writers
KMVR Program Guide
Sing Out Magazine
Saturday, Februray 14 at 8:00 p.m.
The year was 1953 and Mark Graham was born in the inhospitable no-man’s land between Renton and Seattle, Washington. It was this harsh, unyielding wilderness that nurtured an incipient yet incendiary impulse toward musical satire. Under the unwholesome influence of Homer and Jethro’s classic LP “At the Country Club”, Mark embarked on a perilous and far reaching exploration of corn-fed American country musical humor that was to take an ominous turn toward obscure musical sub genres of even more dubious commercial viability.
Seeking to create a versatile and unique vehicle to comment on what has come to be called “the human condition”, Graham sought to combine the lyrical essence of Tom Lehrer, The Smothers Brothers, Gilbert and Sullivan, the mysterious Dublin balladeer, Zosimus and the Epicurean philosopher-poet, Lucretius and wed them to the barnyard sensibility of old-time music’s Uncle Dave Macon.
While modestly claiming complete and utter artistic success, popular acclaim has remained utterly and completely modest. For although Mr. Graham has performed at such exalted venues as The Newport Folk Festival, The Prairie Home Companion, London’s Festival Hall and Port Townsend’s Upstage Theater and Restaurant, he fortunately retains a deep and abiding interest in classical through rococo pick and shovel technique (with a wheelbarrow minor) and applies the theory and practice in the service of the Burton Water Co. of Vashon Island. (He works at the water department on Vashon Island, WA.)
With his trusty Marine Band harmonica Mark Graham has rambled the world with serial offenders like The Hurricane Ridge Runners, The Chicken Chokers, Kevin Burke’s Open House, Danny Barnes and The Kings of Mongrel Folk, bringing a surreal mountain hilarity and lonesome musical terror to the big subjects: Cosmology, Mathematics, Biology, Food, Stupidity, Death and Festival Love.
“Traditional harmonica wizardry with hilarious, off-beat songwriting”
Kim Field “Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers
Jeff Scroggins and Colorado is a high energy, high mountain “bluegrass explosion,” that features the amazing banjo playing of Jeff Scroggins. Jeff’s fiery style and lightning fast licks have earned him many fans worldwide, and have left many a first time listener in stunned disbelief! It also features the award winning mandolin playing of Jeff’s son Tristan Scroggins. Tristan is also an accomplished songwriter, and his and Jeff’s original instrumentals play a large role in the band’s unique and energetic sound.
Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen
Besides her work with Dan, Laurel Thomsen, also a singer, writer, and respected educator, has performed classically since 1998 and with a variety of California Bay Area bands and artists since 2002. With an unforgettable violin tone and a way of offering every musical line or silence as a gift, she is frequently sought for her ability to add depth and emotion to diverse styles of music and her knack for creating infectious melodies, both live on stage and in the studio. She has also released two albums, the latest, “Light & Shadow”, demonstrating her budding talent as a diverse singer-songwriter and composer as well. The host of the Violin Geek Podcast since 2010, the author of two multi-media guides to string playing technique, a longtime Strings magazine contributor, and since 1996, a dedicated private, Skype, and workshop lessons instructor to violin, viola, and fiddle students around the world, Laurel is passionate about not only sharing her music on stage, but also helping others find their own musical voices.
With influences ranging from Folk, Classical, Old Time, and Celtic, to Gospel, Jazz, Vintage Country, Rock N' Roll, Blues, and Bluegrass, Dan and Laurel flow seamlessly through genres, tempos, stories, and moods, embodying each style with virtuosic command.
"Dan and Laurel’s concert in our home drew a standing ovation and a demand for encores. Everyone left with big smiles!"
Margo and Tyler Baker, California house concert hosts
Saturday, May 8, at 8:00 p.m.
One Manitoba winter evening, music and modern technology transpired to bring together two artists with captivating musical synergy, despite their living 2,000 miles apart. Dan Frechette, celebrated Winnipeg singer-songwriter, released a record breaking 10 albums in 2012, and discovered Laurel Thomsen, American genre-bending violinist, that same year via a chance YouTube sighting.
Dan was instantly impressed by Laurel’s ability
to “conjure emotions and spirit with the violin” and imagined how she
could add these qualities to his own songs, with an astonishing 1300 of
them and counting, including The Duhks hit singles “The Mists of Down
Below” and “You Don’t See It”. Laurel was equally impressed with Dan’s
diversity as a songwriter, his heartfelt voice, and his one-man-band style
of guitar playing - fusing lead, rhythm, and bass lines on just one left
handed acoustic guitar. The two became fast friends online, overdubbing
each other’s parts on recordings sent back and forth, but didn’t meet in
person until nearly a year later when they collaborated on a tour of
Laurel’s home state of California.
Dan Frechette, also a multi-instrumentalist and an uncanny impressionist, has been performing high-energy and soulful concerts throughout North America and Europe since 1992. Dan has toured across Canada several times, both solo and with Laurel, and has appeared at many festivals over the years, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Stan Rogers Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, Islands Folk Festival, Summerfolk Festival, Bismarck Bluegrass Festival, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Suwanee Springfest, Brandon Folk Festival, Trout Forest Festival, and the Harvest Moon Festival. He’s been called one of Canada’s best on guitar and harmonica, inspiring many up-and-coming singer-songwriters now touring Canada and Europe. 'Sing Out!' magazine also called Frechette "one of the most talented singer-songwriters I've heard in a long time."
"Any grounded, sound-minded person would have a perma-grin throughout a Dan and Laurel show."
Bernie, Manitoba house concert host
“A good songwriter...a terrific violinist...and together their voices blend beautifully and harmonically... I can’t wait to hear more...”Les Siemieniuk, Penguins Eggs Magazine
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