Blending expert harmonies with melodic folk-rock that harkens back to the late '60s and early '70s, Mapache is a California-based duo featuring vocalists and guitarists Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch. The pair looked to Neil Young, Flying Burrito Brothers, and other legends of rock-born Americana when crafting their self-titled 2017 debut. After joining the Yep Roc roster, they returned in 2020 with their follow-up, From Liberty Street.
Blasucci and Finch hail from La Ca?ada Flintridge in Los Angeles County. The two met while they were both attending La Ca?ada High School; Blasucci had learned the guitar from his father, who was a member of a band called Pacific Coast Highway, and Sam was already playing with a combo called the Roads when he crossed paths with Finch. The two shared a fondness for bluegrass, the Band, Neil Young, and the Grateful Dead, and they formed a group, the Melvin Doo, who regularly played at local coffeehouses. The Melvin Doo broke up in 2011 when Finch went to college at Chico State, while Blasucci took part in a mission trip to Saltillo, Mexico. The friends stayed in touch, and later, after they relocated to Los Angeles, they would both join the lineup of a Grateful Dead tribute band called Grateful Shred, while Blasucci also played with a group called Yam Clap. In January 2016, they began playing together as Mapache; the name is Spanish for raccoon, and it stuck to the pair when they showed up to play a show after spending the day in the sun wearing goggles, leaving circles around their eyes.
The duo's striking harmonies and languid melodies quickly earned them a following, and in March 2017, Mapache released a five-song EP, Live at Mollusk. Just seven months later, Mapache's debut studio album, simply titled Mapache, was issued by the independent Spiritual Pajamas label. The duo toured frequently and their soft-focus harmonies and country-flavored songs reached a new audience. In 2018, the pair issued new music in the form of a three-song 7" called Lonesome LA Cowboy. The increased attention from these releases was enough to help them land a deal with Yep Roc Records, who issued Mapache's sophomore album, From Liberty Street, in March 2020. ~ Mark Deming
ORIGINLos Angeles, CA