Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Toronto's Ortega is sure putting them out at a fine rate, her third album in three years, and another corker.  Her country-rockabilly sound, her compelling voice, her excellent songwriting, it all gets better each time, too.  Living in Nashville has brought out a competitive fire in her, and several songs here, including the title track, are about struggling to make it in the dog-eat-songwriter scene there.  Singing for the nobody's, the ones with "a busted string and a broken guitar",  hoping for the break, she sees herself more akin to them than the big names, "like an old tin star, beat up and rusty/lost in the shining stars of Nashville, Tennessee."

That's one of the tear-jerkes, and she does a fine job at them, but where she really soars are the rockabilly numbers.  Ortega has a hitch in her voice, a delightful one, and when she leans back to really belt into a song, it's breath-taking.  Think Dolly Parton sounding just a little less perky, a little more indie.  Opening track Hard As This is a great tell-him-off song, mad at a lover for messing with her heart:  "If you need time, here's a clock/you can sit alone at night and listen to it tick and tock/If it stops, wind it up/I'll be somewhere givin' up on you."  Gypsy Child is a bit of biography, tracing a singer moving from Toronto to Nashville, her voice soaring over a delicious twangy guitar.  All These Cats is the raunchiest of them all, about the haters trying to run her out of the singer game, which she answers with all the power of Wanda Jackson, advising them "I ain't gonna look, I ain't gonna listen, I'm just gonna continue on my mission."  Please do, three great albums in three years, that's my kind of singer.


  1. Me lika Lindi a lot!

  2. This girl is going places. Great songs and production!