There's a Q where a C should be

Most bands who appropriate the "americana" label have a similar approach: a dash of rock, a smear of folk and the occasional country twang. When done well, it can be good stuff. I prefer bands that take a more expansive approach. Like Esquela.

Canis Majoris
(Livestock Music)
There are more than a few traditional americana moments here, but the lead track, "It Didn't Take", is a bluesy rip through doo-wop land. The band also bashes its way through other quintessential American sounds, even if those sounds aren't necessarily considered "americana."

There is also a streak of rampant silliness. These are people of a certain age (mine), and they simply don't have enough time left to get hung up on self-importance. Anyone who would write (much less perform) a power ballad about the Royals-Yankees "pine tar" game, complete with an edit of Phil Rizzuto's call, is someone I want to have a beer with. Even if the song is written from the wrong (Yankees) perspective.

A deceptively simple album that satisfies easily. I think it's safe to say that Esquela will never be up on the stage grabbing a Grammy. But it might well be playing your local small stage--you should stop by. Fun will be had.

Jon Worley

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