The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

February 19, 2016, Music

Half covers album, half original compositions, half Spanglish – 150% all her own – native Austinite Carrie Rodriguez extends a familial legacy on Lola. Daughter of Houston-born songwriting great David Rodriguez, who died in October at 63, here she follows in the footsteps of her great-aunt Eva Garza, one of the first Latina crossover artists. Forties Mexico still cries for deep-red lips and poised chignons. In contrast to Rodriguez's five previous solo releases, the classically trained fiddler's stringed appendage is reduced to a clear supporting role on Lola. Instead, Rodriguez galvanizes her sweet folk with rancheras and antiquated boleros. Synchronous with the composers she covers (Alberto Domínguez, Cuco Sánchez), her originals take place in shadowy locales like the migra-cautious Southwest Texas border of "Llano Estacado," a place where "not everyone's gonna get your name right, honey." Layers of guitars cry alongside her and pluck at universal heart strings. On the bilingual tracks – "La Última Vez," "Que Manera de Perder" – the Texan's ranchera belting and elongated notes distract from her non-native Spanish-speaker accentuation. "Si No Te Vas" sounds exactly as if Rodriguez was in a callejón serenading her lover even with the hint of gringo in her Rs. Picking up Spanish as an adult can cause that, yet it lends the music an authentic border feel, the bridge between worlds. Therein lies the cohesiveness between old and new that makes Lola a love affair worth taking home and introducing to la familia.


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