Lindi Ortega has arrived. And she did it her way—the old-fashioned way. Her fourth album, “Faded Gloryville,” explores her fascination with traditional country music—not the glitzy glam of Nashville’s pop culture, but the down-home roots of her heroes: Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
When asked how a nice young Canadian college graduate ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, touring as the lead singer/songwriter with a band, Ortega laughs. “It all started with my mom,” she explains. “Despite having grown up in Northern Ireland and then immigrating to Canada, she developed a great appreciation for all things Southern.” Some of Ortega’s best memories are the hundreds of times she and her mother would watch the movie “Gone with the Wind” when she was a kid. “We would visit plantations and battlefields in the South on car trips,” Ortega reminisces. “My mother loved Southern cooking—anything fried would make her happy.” Her father was a bass player in a Latin band who gave her mother a guitar when she expressed an interest in playing. “But my mom didn’t really take to the guitar, so my dad hung it on the wall. I used to look at that guitar and it inspired me to play.”
When she came to the conclusion that her passion for writing and performing songs couldn’t be denied, Ortega’s thoughts turned to the South. “I was spinning my wheels in the music industry in Toronto. I began to explore a traditional take on country music. People advised me not to go that route, but I was drawn to the very raw, pristine sound coming from old recordings of country singers—the greats. There they were, using crappy recording equipment and singing their hearts out. And they had only one take—which is a testament to how good they were. I love listening to those.”
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