Exclusive ND First Spin: Lindi Ortega – “Cigarettes & Truckstops’
By Nancy Dunham
First Canadian-born Neil Young showed Americana lovers what the genre was all about, now Canadian-born Lindi Ortega follows suit for traditional country aficionados. Not that the Nashville-based Ortega with a voice that has been likened to Emmylou Harris-meets-Dolly-Parton-meets-Johnny- Cash would limit her sound to that of traditional country. Just like Young, she draws from a full sonic palette including blues, rock ala Tom Petty and more.
The artist whose footwear of choice inspired the title of her 2011 album “Little Red Boots” stepped up her game for her latest release. She spent hours reading books about legendary traditional and outlaw country artists and months listening to the blues before recording this gem. The result is a stunningly mature, yet engagingly accessible album, that Ortega likens to a sonic log of her life on tour.
Want proof of Ortega’s musical chops? Consider the album’s title track — that could easily slip into Loretta Lynn’s catalog, with its steel guitar, brushed percussion and – above all – Ortega’s achingly lush vocals about lost love. Another must-hear is the up-tempo “Day You Die,” full of twanging guitar accompanying Ortega’s peppy, punchy, sure-to-inspire-chuckles lyrics about keeping love alive. Ortega turns her vocals to breathy on “High,” as she sings of times accompanied by sobbing steel guitar.
Want to know the future of Americana tinged Country? Don’t miss Cigarettes & Truckstops.