Local Americana band Esquela will mark the release of its third album, “Canis Majoris,” with a release party on Feb. 20 at the B Side Ballroom in Oneonta.
Produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, whose past projects include collaborations with The Bottle Rockets, Marshall Crenshaw and The Yayhoos, “Canis Majoris” “continues Esquela’s exploration of the themes and traditional music of rural America,” a media release said. “The new album is filled with songs of love and loss, a stinging critique of our unique brand of American greed, and even a musical retelling of one of the most infamous games in baseball history.”
Front man and bassist John “Chico” Finn describes how he and the other members of Esquela evolved as musicians and bandmates during the album’s songwriting sessions:
“This album was more of a collaboration in the songwriting process,” Finn said in the release. “I brought ideas to the table, and the band provided input to shape the final arrangements. The band has grown a lot and these songs are more fully evolved.”
Founded in 2010 by Finn and guitarist Keith Christopher, Esquela took first place in September at The Playoffs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, a competition that featured more than 200 bands from all over the world.
“I play music for enjoyment, so it was an engaging experience to be in a band competition,” Finn said. “It gave me insight into why I play music and how valuable it is to me that music can be free of the competition of the work world. It was extremely gratifying to win but I am happy to leave the battling out of music.”
The B Side is in the Clinton Plaza in Oneonta.