When singer/songwriter and fiddler Carrie Rodriguez set out to record “Lola” last year, she never imagined it would become a bilingual album. Her initial plan was to sing only in Spanish as a tribute to her great aunt Eva Garza (1917-1966), who was a Texas-based singer and actor.
Santa Fe Bandstand’s audience members will be treated to hearing about three-quarters of the music on “Lola” when Rodriguez, life and musical partner Luke Jacobs (guitar/vocals) and percussionist Alex Marrero take the Plaza’s stage on July 18.
“As I went through the process of working on the album, I realized that it wasn’t 100 percent me to make an album entirely in Spanish,” explains Rodriguez, who grew up in a multi-cultural environment in Austin, Texas. “So I wrote songs in English, Spanish and Spanglish.”
Half of “Lola” features classic Mexican tunes. “There are certain songs that, when I start singing them, give me chills. That’s when I know I should be performing them,” Rodriguez adds.
The other half of the album is comprised of Rodriguez’s original music. “It was pretty easy to write these new songs,” she recalls. “I dug deep into my own experiences, the comfortable and uncomfortable parts, of growing up in two cultures. It was therapeutic.”
Rodriguez’s musical training began at the age of five when she took Suzuki violin lessons. She spent one year on scholarship at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio before transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
During her career she has toured, recorded and co-written songs with artists including John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones and Mary Gauthier and appeared on Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show and A Prairie Home Companion.
“It’s my first time performing with Santa Fe Bandstand, and I’m really looking forward to it,” says Rodriguez, whose 7:15 p.m. act follows Luz y McCormick’s performance at 6 p.m. . “I love playing in Santa Fe.”