Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gina Villalobos- 2 Kool 2 B Underground

Some artists you can't help but love, especially when the music-buying audience doesn't give them the love they deserve.

Singer/songwriter Gina Villalobos is one of those people for me. I first heard her music through the superfine Miles of Music distribution service and wrote up a short notice about her first album for my zine and subsequently reviewed her next record for Harp Magazine.

What struck me about her was that her music, her voice and her songs sounded so forthright, so firm and so confident that I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she wasn't more well-known. Maybe the easiest comparison is Kathleen Edwards but she never came close to Villalobos' dynamic work. This is the kind of artist that you want to scream to the world about.

Sad to say, I only had her records to experience and not any shows. I even missed her SXSW performance this year when my plane arrived in Austin late, goddamnit. But that was before she included a World Party cover on her album, caught the ear of WP leader Kurt Wallinger and was invited to be his opening act when he did a U.S. tour (currently underway) to promote her new record Miles Away. That also meant her first stop in NYC and a chance to finally catch her live.

Thankfully, she had enough energy and enthusiasm to win over a Gotham crowd who probably hadn't heard her before. The only drawback, which she apologized for, was that unlike on her albums, she didn't have a full band with her to fill out her sound. Until next time, her records are the place to find out what she's truly capable of though he solo appearance do show off some of what she's capable of.


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