[AMERICANA] CALICO (which is purposefully stylized in all caps) is short for “California Country,” a fitting moniker for this duo born of both personal and musical roots in the Golden State. Introduced while pursuing individual careers as singer-songwriters, Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit discovered themselves as mutually kindred spirits and began gigging together with a focus on their love for harmony groups — Everly Brothers, Eagles, CSN—many of which also perpetuated the Laurel Canyon scene of times gone by. The results, now distilled into two solid, independently released albums, strike a satisfying balance between grit and polish that keeps the duo’s inherent earthiness palpable. Lots of pedal steel and jangle-pop guitar riffs decorate the tunes on the newer Under Blue Skies, which contains telling covers of Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” and Mamas and Papas’ “California Dreaming” – both are earnest, respectful and well executed, but neither attempt to reinvent the wheel or are overwrought with unnecessary adornments. It’s a metaphor for CALICO’s approach on the whole, making quality country-pop that refuses to showboat and instead relies on a basic, time-tested, less-is-more aesthetic to rise above. For the most part, it succeeds. The pair comes to Buffalo on Sunday, January 14 for an early 5pm gig at Sportsmen’s Tavern.