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Country music meets the Blues with a splash of red

By Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr | 11 de noviembre de 2012

San Antonio.- On occasion you come across an artist who is destined to be a star. They possess the look, the skill and that proverbial “it” factor.  It is hard to pinpoint what exactly that “it” is, but in Lindi Ortega case it’s hard to ignore.

Her long black hair and ruby red lips are complimented by her signature red boots and her wardrobe resembles that of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. Vocally, Ortega is what Country music has been missing since the Golden Age of Country.

Ortega, the daughter of a Northern Irish mother and Mexican father, was exposed to music at a young age. Her father was a band leader and she recalls how she was mesmerized by the fact he performed on stage.

Her mother was a big Country music fan and loved all the out-laws of Country, Ortega recalled.  They would sit together and watch the Dolly Parton Show when she was growing up and young Lindi was romanced by the Country music tunes she listened to with her mom.

Her playground would quickly become her basement where her skills blossomed.

“We had a lot of the equipment in the basement because my dad was the band leader. We had microphones, sound systems, basses, organs, guitars and keyboards,” Ortega said. “I always spent a lot of time down in the basement trying to make music.”

Ortega learned how to play on a classic nylon string guitar and learned three cords. It wasn’t until she got dumped days before her high school prom that she wrote her first complete song.  She had the perfect dress but would never be able to wear it, so she wrote a song about it.

“I wrote a song called “Faded Dress” about that wonderful experience in my teenage life and yeah it was my first ever heartbreak song and the theme continued for many years to come,” she said with a laugh.The joke is on the guy who dumped her.

Her albums “Little Red Boots” and “Cigarettes & Truckstops” are the epitome of sophisticated song-writing with soul.

She describes her latest album as the outlaws and the darlings of Country music got together and made little Blues babies.

“There is a little bit of Blues influences in what I did on the first record (Little Red Boots) and it’s more prevalent on the second (Cigarettes & Truckstops) because I was reading a lot biographies form my Country music heroes,” she recalled. “Hank Williams Jr. was the first one I read and learned he was influenced by Tee Tot, better known as Rufus Payne, who was a Blues musician.”

“That got me interested in the effect of Blues on early Country and how it influences. So I started listening to a lot of Blues in that period of my life. I started realizing the more Blues that I would listen to the more it was creeping into my melodies and into my chords on the guitar I was playing,” she explained.

Ortega’s music is slowly creeping into the mainstream as two of her songs, “Little Lie” and “The Day You Die,” have been featured on ABC’s hit show “Nashville.”

It’s not long before the rest of the world catches to the songstress’s infectious songs and sweet looks as she is currently on tour with Social Distortion.

San Antonio will have their chance to experience Ortega’s music as she is on tour with Social Distortion and will make a stop in the Alamo City at Backstage Live on November 16.


Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr. is a reporter for La Prensa de San Antonio.  He may be reached at dayotte@laprensasa.com.

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