Calahoney flies to Jacksonville

Ava Rivera

(Photo courtesy of Calahoney)

By: Ava Rivera, Staff Reporter

Calahoney, a band comprised of Josue and Laura Cruz, recently moved to Jacksonville from Miami to bask in the musical inspiration it has to offer.

Calahoney formed in 2005 with inspirations from Norah Jones, Cowboy Junkies and the Lemonheads, and its music incorporates blues and rock.

“It morphed into a bluesy thing. Our act got together in Miami, and we moved up here
less than a year ago,” said Josue, a UNF staff member. “Jacksonville is a lot more music-friendly than people give it credit for.”

(Photo courtesy of Calahoney)

Josue said the Florida Theatre is his favorite Jacksonville venue, but he also likes Freebird and Burro Bar. Calahoney is adapting to the Jacksonville music scene pretty quickly. Josue said the band is working on a split record with Neptune Beach’s Whetherman and has played with Jacksonville’s Saltwater Grass.

“You just enjoy playing with anybody who’s into the music and willing to give you a new chance when you move to a new city,” he said.

The record with Whetherman is due to drop in late April, and the band plans to tour in Gainesville and Tampa after the EP’s release.

As an independently produced band, Calahoney handles all of the financial responsibilities that come along with making music.

Josue said making music is about leaving something behind for someone to enjoy.

Laura has always enjoyed singing, although she also uses drawing as a creative outlet. Laura drew and designed Calahoney’s sparrow logo while the band recorded its second album, “Slow Stride,” in 2008.

“There was a beautiful bird flying around with a red nesting. We were up in the
morning recording, looking out at the birds. It was this really cool, organic experience,” Laura
said. “When I see the bird, that’s the memory I think of.”

(Photo courtesy of Calahoney)

Laura also draws botanical studies and makes scarves made from recycled T-shirts that she sells at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

Besides its music, Calahoney’s members work in Jacksonville and feel the city affecting their band. Josue works in the UNF International Center and coordinates study abroad opportunities to send students out into the world. Laura works at MOCA as a museum educator.

Laura said living in Atlantic Beach gives her the beach vibe, but working in the city gives her the big-city feeling whenever she drives over the bridges and the St. Johns River.

“There’s a good pace and a cool vibe to Jacksonville; it’s not a sleepy town. It’s a good
combination of both relaxed and energized,” Laura said. “I try to keep the creativity going.
You’re surrounded by creativity, so you’re more likely to participate in creativity.”

Email Ava Rivera at [email protected]

Calahoney’s next performance is in the acoustic tent at the Jacksonville Superfest April 14-15. Read more about the held-at-UNF event in next week’s Spinnaker.