"Coming home from touring just makes me want to go back out," smiles Josue, founding member of Calahoney, a Miami-based band that blends Blues, Rock, and Americana sensibilities and comes up with honest and endearing music. The group is comprised of husband-wife duo Josue Cruz and Laura Askins as the main characters, and they fill out the band when necessary with friends and collaborators. Having just returned from a summer 2009 tour schedule that took them not only to such cities as Atlanta, Philly, and NYC, but also saw them take their music across the pond to London and Dublin for the first time, Calahoney continues to gain fans and accolades for their latest release, Slow Stride.
Calahoney began in 2005 as Laura and Josue found that they had an intrinsic connection through music and started playing the songs of their favorite artist to each other. Laura remembers that, "we used to sit around on Friday and Saturday nights with a bit of decent whiskey, a laptop, and a guitar and just find all of these great songs to sing; everything from Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, and Nina Simone to Norah Jones, Cowboy Junkies, Springsteen, and Gillian Welch. Josue always broke out his Evan Dando and J Mascis classics!"
"It really has always been about good songs," Josue adds. Having compiled an arsenal of his own songs, he began asking Laura to sing the original material. The two would record a few CD-R's and give them to family and friends. The response was immediate and the demand was overwhelming. So in 2006, Calahoney released their first full-length album I Shine Not Burn on their own imprint, TRUE Records, named after Laura's grandfather who was and Irish tenor that successfully worked the old Miami watering holes as a singing waiter.
At the time, they went by the name of Skylark, but shortly after that changed it due to the number of other acts working under the same name. They settled on Calahoney, which they came up with while on a long drive from one show to the next and in an effort kill time they shot silly words back at each other until one stuck. "It sounded cool, and it was completely original; easy to Google," Josue chuckles.
In 2008, Calahoney released their second full-length album Slow Stride, again on TRUE Records. The album was produced, recorded, and mixed by Scott Johnson over the span of two weeks in an old Virginia manor on the Rappahannock River. "It was the most enriching artistic experience I have ever been a part of," states Laura when she speaks of turning off cell-phones, disregarding e-mails, and just waking up and spending up to 12 hours a day working on the album.
Calahoney used tour down-time to write new songs and in the fall of 2009 plan to begin recording their third full-length album tentatively called Too Many Hawks, after one of the new songs on the album and a reference to the number of independent acts out there competing for ears. "We are all in the same forest," deadpans Josue, "hundreds of amazing musicians writing great songs. You have to be creative and imaginative about your music career, but most of all you have to be honest. Honest about your music; about what you want, what you get, and most importantly what you give."