“Canis Majoris” is the third album from the five-man Americana Band Esquela, founded in Bovina, New York in 2010. In the northeast of the States, the band already has a serious live reputation and in September 2015 they managed to win the playoffs at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. ‘Canis Majoris’ is a title that aroused our curiosity and after a search on the internet, we discovered that it is the name of a constellation and means ‘big dog.’ The producer of the band, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel is known for his work with Marshall Crenshaw among others. Anyway, let’s talk about the songs. ‘Canis Majoris’starts straight away with delicious “It Didn’t Take” an up tempo, doo-wop song reminiscent of the fifties. Becca Frame sings in true retro style, and even the classic sax solo was not forgotten here. However Esquela has even more up its sleeve. Americana, roots and alternative country have little or no secrets kept from this quintet. Surprisingly, we even loved the bickering between Becca and her partner bassist John ‘Chico’ Finn in “Sorry” a handsome call and response number. That bickering soon turns into a love song ‘Valentine’s Day’, where valentines are not limited to one day, but reign throughout the year. ‘Need Not Apply’ is a folk song in the good old Irish tradition, with a nice contribution guest musician Tom White on banjo, tin whistle and fiddle. A solid cover of Blue Mountains ‘Blue Canoe’ closes the album.
Love and loss are just some of the topics discussed. One item, however, generally warns the daylight, that the criticism of the lazy, for not being good, always in search of wealth being American, gets attention in the bluesy, in crescendo, with blazing guitar work and Becca’s power voice-ending ‘Gold Digger’.
Esquela hopes this album reaches a wider audience. With undersigned they have already won a soul. Great album!