Though California is central to the identity of the band CALICO, musicians Kirsten Proffit and Manda Mosher will travel to Oregon this Fourth of July to play at the Estacada Timber Festival. Previously, they played at the festival in 2015.
"We have this tradition of playing 4th of July (in the Pacific Northwest)," Mosher said. "Last year we played at the Fireworks Fest in Vancouver, and this year we'll be back at the Timber Festival."
Mosher and Proffit formed the band, whose name is an abbreviation for California Country, in 2012. The two are based in the Los Angeles area.
CALICO, along with rock 'n' roll group Crush, will take the stage at Timber Park on the evening of Tuesday, July 4. For more information about the show, visit www.estacadatimberfestival.com
Estacada News: How did CALICO get its start?
Manda Mosher: The L.A. singer/songwriter and American country scene is fairly small once you're in it. You can really find out who everyone is. (Kirsten and I) were both solo artists. We had friends in common and were booked for the same show. (When we met), it was a very different feeling, and a recognition that this is a special artist. There was this spark that happened.
EN: What's it like being part of a band rather than a solo artist?
Kirsten Proffit: Having a partner is cool. When you're by yourself, you're free to do what you want, but with a partner you have to consider that person's vision, too. You realize that something can be different, better or cool, and you might not have done that on your own. It forces you to do new things.
Mosher: With a solo career, you're on your own in many ways. Everything falls on your shoulders, and it can feel lonely. (Being in a band) is definitely more fun. There's more gratification than going through everything by yourself and not sharing it.
EN: How would you describe your sound?
Proffit: It's a California country sound. It's country music that's not too twangy.
EN: Who are some of your influences?
Mosher: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles. A lot of (members of the) old folk rock scene from the 1960s.
EN: What are some similarities and differences between your latest album, "Under Blue Skies," and your first album, "Rancho California"?
Mosher: One common thread is the focus on the vocals and harmonies. The instrumentation is the same, and that part of our sound has been constant. The songs we recorded for our second album are much more personal. When we were working on our first album, we had just met and were getting to know each other. (With the second album,) we felt comfortable focusing on more personal struggles.
Proffit: One difference (between the two albums) sound wise was with the second album, we knew what our sound was supposed to be. Now that we know it, we can mold it more.
EN: In what ways does California influence your music?
Mosher: There's a sunny saturation that gets into (our music). There's a general easiness of things that comes through. You can't help it. It's a contrast from the grunge sound from Seattle, where people were trapped indoors because of rain. It's interesting that music from particular regions takes on the characteristics of the climate, weather and people.
EN: What are your thoughts on bringing the California sound to other states?
Proffit: I love taking this band on the road. It's very easy for us to connect this music to the people we're playing for. It doesn't matter how old people are or where they're from.
Mosher: What's neat about Oregon and Washington is that there's a love for real, organic music — (songs that are) stripped down and focus on the beautiful rich tones of the music and voices.
EN: What are you looking forward to most about playing at the Timber Festival?
Proffit: I love the beauty of the area — there are super tall trees and you can look out to a nice big crowd that's ready to party.
EN: What's the best part of being involved with music?
Proffit: You can guide the trajectory of your life with this beautiful art that you're creating.
Mosher: When you have something that you love this much, it's a very fortunate thing. (My passion for music) started young, so I always felt like I had a purpose. If I was lost or confused, music was the one thread that never went away. I imagine it will always be there, and there's a comfort to that.