The Austin Chronicle Guide to SXSW 2017

Gina Chavez

up.rooted

Texas Platters

Pride bursts from every track of up.rooted. Fiery Latina Gina Chavez celebrates her musical roots in this natural progression from 2007 debut Hanging Spoons, which revealed a singer-songwriter just beginning to discover aspects of her heritage. Two years later, the native Austinite traveled to El Salvador to teach English and returned with a burning love for reggaeton and world music, resulting in a decisive sound and emphatic vocals. Working with $20,000 in Kickstarter funds, Chavez melds perfectly pop opener "Save Me" with reggae ("Siete-D") and hypnotic, bilingual cumbias ("Miles de Millas," "Gotta Get"). Enlisting veteran local studio genius Michael Ramos (Patty Griffin; his Charanga Cakewalk) results in a flawlessly bilingual balance between South American, Mexican, and American influences. Each track bristles with authenticity: Folk idols Eliza Gilkyson and Nathan Hamilton lend harmonies on sweeping Latin ballad "Todo Cambia," the Grupo Fantasma horns electrify "Gotta Get," and Ramos' electrifying accordion vies for LP MVP. "Soy Quien Soy" declares her love of South America, and it defines up.rooted: Chavez asked hard questions, put in the miles, and emerged brimming with dynamic self-assurance. (CD release: Saturday, Feb. 15, Stateside at the Paramount.)

****

READ MORE
More Gina Chavez
Worst Tour Stories Ever
Worst Tour Stories Ever
The road goes on forever and the party never ends

July 8, 2016

Soy Quien Soy
Soy Quien Soy
Gina Chavez comes into her own

Nina Hernandez, April 4, 2014

More Music Reviews
SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Diet Cig
Swear I'm Good at This (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, March 17, 2017

SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Lvl Up
Return to Love (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, March 17, 2017

More by Nina Hernandez
The Death of Dontre Hamilton
The Death of Dontre Hamilton
Family of Milwaukee man shot by police finds strength in organizing

March 10, 2017

Gagging the Free Press
Gagging the Free Press
Prescient doc uncovers the war on journalism

March 10, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gina Chavez

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)