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Fortunately, Ortega refuses to throw in the towel

GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles, March 27, 2018

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Lindi Ortega appeared in support of her "Liberty" album, and it didn't take long for GRAMMY Museum Executive Director/interviewer and MC Scott Goldman to address the obvious spaghetti Western sonic influence on this latest full-length. In fact, the album opens with an instrumental worthy of Ennio Morricone, titled "Through the Dust Part I." The record's distinctly Western vibe was at least partially inspired, we learned, by Ortega and "Liberty" producer Skylar Wilson's shared obsession with Quentin Tarantino films.

Ortega sang the album's title track, which is - in its recorded version, a full-on cowboy movie anthem, complete with "Ring of Fire" horns - after a sit-down interview. However, her touring trio of a drummer and electric guitarist, along with her own acoustic guitar playing, could only hint at the recorded version's aural grandeur.

Ortega also performed the rocking "The Comeback Kid," which finds Ortega singing with more of a tough-talking Nancy Sinatra attitude. Earlier in the evening, Goldman suggested how this song might also apply to Ortega, as she recently came close to giving up her musical career altogether, thus making this latest album her comeback of sorts. "Lovers in Love" is an unusual addition to Ortega's repertoire, in that it sets aside Ortega's usual dark side musings for a much more positive look and love and romance. Ortega also sang "Gracias A La Vida," which closes the album and is a cover of Chilean singer Violeta Parra. Lastly, Ortega dusted off one older song, "Cigarettes & Truckstops," taken from her album of the same name.

With "Liberty," Lindi Ortega has expanded her musical horizons, and this artistic growth was on beautiful display. It's a good thing Ortega decided not to throw in the towel because she obviously has so much more to give.

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