Bovina, New York, USA

Esquela is a five-piece Americana / Roots-Rock band from the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY, produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel.

Esquela's third album, Obey the Party, is now nearing the finish line, and is the band's finest work to date: news soon.

John "Chico" Finn - bass/vocals
Becca Frame - vocals
Brian Shafer - guitar
Todd Russell - drums/vocals
Matt Woodin - guitars


Esquela, a proud purveyor of the Bovina Rock sound, is not limited by its rural roots but grounded in them, and uses its provenance as a springboard to sing about universals that fans can appreciate. War, politics, relationships and the banalities of everyday life, provide fodder for the band’s original songwriting while a talented and passionate group of musicians wrap those lyrics in a roots-rockAmericana sound that both beguiles and charms its listeners. 

Esquela began as a playful writing collaboration partnered by front-man John “Chico” Finn, and Keith Christopher (Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, Billy Joe Shaver, Todd Snider, etc). During their process together, the two old friends became increasingly convinced in the validity of their efforts, and the writing project graduated into a recording project. 

As their tunes came to life, it became time to bring a true vocalist into the mix. Vocalist Becca Frame’s inclusion into the Esquela family did far more than lead to the happily-successful conclusion of the recording project (which became the band’s first album, The Owl Has Landed); her incredible talents, and commitment to the band, led Esquela to develop in a direction that would best emphasize and illuminate her remarkable abilities, and her passion. Guitarist Matt Woodin was brought in to lay down mandolin tracks on the project; things worked so well, so quickly, with Matt that he, too, became a full time member of the band. Produced by Grammy winner Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Ryan Adams, Steve Earl, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, etc), The Owl Has Landed was self-released in 2010 to a slew of very favorable international reviews, and Esquela was rolling. 

Drummer/singer Todd Russell (fellow high school alum with Chico and Matt) was brought in for the Owl performances, and quickly earned a permanent place in the family. Shortly thereafter, the band began inviting virtuoso guitarist Brian Shafer to sit in at shows. Brian became a permanent member in time for pre-production of Esquela’s second album, Are We Rolling?, at which point Christopher had already left the band due to touring commitments with other bands. Rolling was recorded over a long weekend at the band’s studio in late November, 2012: recorded, mixed, and produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel. The self-released sophomore album received an even warmer reception, from all over the world, than did Owl. 

“Bottom line, this is how you make an album, folks.” 

-The Alternate Root 

“It is clear that Esquela has a firm grasp of the sound of the American heartland and can play roots rock with the best of them.” 

 -Folk World 

Now in early 2015, the band has completed the recording of their third album, Obey the Party and their artistic evolution is continually apparent, in soul-stirring, never-pretentious fashion. Esquela is looking forwarding to hitting the road in coming months and have shared the stage with artists like The Bottle Rockets, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Marah, Jason Ringenberg, and Eric “Roscoe” Ambel among many others. 


No Questions

Written By: John "Chico" Finn / Keith Christopher

Preacher says, “Thou shalt not kill.”
Except for the wars voted on Capitol Hill.
Standing in the trenches, waiting to take that hill.
When the whistle blows, will you be ready to kill?

Don’t ask no questions, just do as you’re told.
If you follow these simple rules, have you sold your soul?

It’s the law of the jungle in a civilized world.
How do I turn it off back home with my girl?
How many poor bastards have gone before?
Imagine what might have been had they not died in war.


I’m not saying some wars aren’t just, some you may even need.
But if given the choice, would you kill the enemy?



The Owl Has Landed
-April 2010, Livestock Music / Bovina Records

Are We Rolling?
-digital May 15, 2013, Livestock Music / Bovina Records