Escondido is spanish for “hidden” and an old city in San Diego County, but some may begin to recognize it as a band from Nashville composed of artists Jessica Maros and Tyler James. The two singer/songwriters met while James was recording their mutual friend at his home studio. It hadn’t even been a day before they realized that there was an album in the works. “Jess was quietly strumming this song Rodeo Queen on the couch while everyone else was making drinks in the kitchen. I pushed record and added a little groove before folks got back in the room. Later that night we listened to it and both said ‘You wanna make a record?’” A few months later, The Ghost of Escondido was recorded live in one day on October 17, 2011 in the spirit of their common love for westerns and 70′s music. The 10-song debut released last week on February 25, 2013, but the writing and sound was originally crafted over the course of two months. “We wanted it to be like Clint Eastwood playing pop songs at one of the honky-tonks downtown, but we’ve been told it sounds like desert sex.” Have a listen:
The seductive vocals from Maros sure bring a sense of intimacy to the recording, and they are complemented perfectly by the guitar, trumpet, and keyboard work from James. However, the album wouldn’t have been complete without like-minded local talent from Evan Hutchings (drums), Adam Keafer (bass), and Scotty Murray (electric guitar). “The talent in this town allows you to set up in one room and let ‘em do their thing,” says James. The group brought dynamics and diversity to the record, as songs like Don’t Love Me Too Much and Keep Walkin’ belt a Nashville twang, while Special Enough and Willow Tree deliver a softer ballad vibe. As the case with most records that happen outside of an artist or musician’s regular day-to-day work, this one was an outlet for both. “Music helps us forget the very conflict it grows out of,” says James. “But my favorite songs embrace that dissonance.” Check out this live performance of “Don’t Love Me Too Much,” Nashville style.
Jessica Marcos has been recognized as an aspiring designer as her jewelry has been worn by the likes of Prince and Lady Antebellum and her handmade dresses have graced the red carpet at the Oscars and Country Music Awards. Tyler James is known widely as a solo artist and keyboard player in Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. “We both wanted a change of pace,” says Maros. “I wanted to focus on music again and Tyler wanted to spend more time in town making records.” As a result, Escondido was developed and has begun to take shape into what they wanted it to be. They celebrated the release on Friday with a show at The High Watt, a new venue just above Nashville’s famed Cannery Ballroom. To keep up on all things Escondido, check out their Facebook page, and be sure to follow BalconyTV for an upcoming live performance from Escondido this month!
By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC