Calaveras

 
“Wonderful music, wonderfully performed”
The winning combination of finely crafted songs, polished vocals, and sophisticated arrangements put Green Girl far ahead of most of the indie singer/songwriter pack.
Green Girl is "an outstanding CD that adds a nice spin to the classic folk trio setting."
Calaveras—Green Girl: This Cally-based trio has received lots of industry recognition winning the Grand Prize in the West Coast Songwriting Contest, as well as, the Kerrville New Folk prize. Their music combines intricate and beautiful soundscapes with airy vocals, instrumentation and tightly written songs. Similar sounding to bands like Nickel Creek, they build on previous successes while pushing ahead with their own vision. With Green Girl, their third release, they blend some of the best elements from roots, Americana and folks music. The core of the group consists of sing-songwriter duo Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe joined by guitarist Dave Decker. Beattie evokes a classic folk and country chime against Blythe’s bright and ethereal accompaniment. When their voices harmonize the end result is outstanding. On top of their vocal prowess, each member doubles on several instruments bringing the total count of the core lineup to over a half dozen. Throughout the album there are a total of 10 guests performing and more than 23 different instruments weaving the album together. The album includes ballads like “Constant Love” and “Driving Him Away” that are elegant and simple. But it also tackles upbeat country sounds on songs like “A City A Life And A Girl,” and “Club Paradise.” The album is consistent throughout without much of a dull moment in between. 5.0 McRiprock’s.
Calaveras was a featured act at the Florence Winter Folk Festival this year, and put on a great show. This acoustic trio from the SF Bay Area has a wide variety of original songs performed with tight harmonies and six or seven acoustic instruments, and had the crowd laughing, weeping and cheering throughout their set. Although we cater to a traditional folk crowd, Calaveras was the one act we allowed to use all original songs because a lot of their tunes are fresh interpretations of traditional folk forms, and it's clear they pay attention to their songwriting craft. It's also clear they love performing and pleasing the crowd. They definitely earned the standing O they received and we'd love to have them back. I'd recommend them to any acoustic or folk music festival or venue.
Calaveras is adult cotemporary music with doses of philosophy and utopian ideas melded between a variety of musical styles. The layers are varied – subtle folk playing to acoustic boogie. Green Girl collects material recorded as far back as 1997, songs rich in mature and concise craftsmanship. Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe are a fine match – Beattie gentle and even (think James Taylor) while Blythe is ethereal and cooing (think Evanescence, Carly Simon). The trio is a modern flourish of groups like Peter, Paul and Mary – cool, calm melodious playing that warms the heart and soothes the soul. The band gets down on ‘Sins of Our Fathers’ and ‘A City and a Life and a Girl’ that recalls Little Feat and whose violin and percussion really help sell the song. ‘Club Paradise’ is a close cousin, a jumping and sticky number. ‘Summer Roses’ is perhaps the album’s most heartfelt. Green Girl is a grab-bag mix of material, up-tempo and fun, and slower, more personal songs. In the end it sounds like two albums in one – one Beattie’s and one Blythe’s. Mixing the material back and forth helps separate this notion but the fact is the album does feel divided. The pair play together on ‘Constant Love’ and it leaves the ear wanting more. Green Girl is a combination of low-key songs with intermediate shots of back porch jams sure to appeal to both sides of any laid back crowd.
A modern day experience in the Renaissance world of music - Calaveras offers eloquent lyrics delivered with a gentle lilt on Green Girl. Simply beautiful and a cool soothing listen through a hot Texas Summer.
Green Girl's sweet mix of traditional and modern elements is a real breath of fresh air. Its tight, melodic songs, tasty instrumentation and sure, clear vocals make for a captivating album.
“An awesome mix of traditional folk and modern folk sounds. A combination of voices, original songs and acoustic intruments travelling one road to many places--folk, pop, blues and country. The common thread is songs with intelligent lyrics and heartfelt melodies. The three principal members of Calaveras sound as if they were put on this earth to make music together. . . . Music this good deserves your attention.
“The music of Calaveras weaves a fine tapestry of melody and lyrics that makes you want to listen again and again. The vocal parts are sweet and smooth, and the songs portray situations which are tender, funny, and real. It's great to have a new release to wear out by playing it and singing along.”
"This acoustic trio from California offers lush, soaring original tunes that are supercharged and . . . finely crafted. . ."
This is Calaveras' third album, and it's a solid roots record, with winning performances throughout. The opening title song sees Greg Beattie singing of the eponymous girl with passionate intent. Maybe she's the female version of the green man of myth and legend. "In the Peace of my Love" sees Victoria Blythe take on lead vocals with sweetness and grace. It was written for a child, and shows a caring parent's love well. "Firefly Nights" is a reflective song where Blythe gets to show off her sweet voice again, and it's well played as she remembers a perfect summer night. "Bad Dog" ends the album on a humorous note, being about just that. The bluesy strains of the song really make it good. Beattie sounds just right and the band play well. This is a terrific album. Copyright © 2009 Anna Maria Stjärnell