Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 28/01/2012 | Lindi Ortega – The Jericho Tavern, Oxford

28/01/2012 | Lindi Ortega – The Jericho Tavern, Oxford

Lisa Ward


‘You’re gonna know me by my little red boots’. Actually, if Lindi Ortega is going to be known for anything it’s likely to be her ability to belt out songs without missing a note, something the album doesn’t seem to capture. Whilst the album is solid, live the songs are transformed with a rhythm and life of their own.

Despite a stripped back set up, Lindi seems to carry a determination to set right the industry men who critiqued her, and I’m No Elvis Presley though comedic, has the air of a protest song, an ode for every musician who’s ever come up against a panel of A&R reps. Meanwhile the rest of the set is littered with songs of ‘late night debauchery and dubious friends’, or in other words, drugs and broken hearts.

Whilst the night oozes with country melodies, there’s a commercial sound to the songs which could easily see her cross to the mainstream. The likening to Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton seem justified, her covers of Cash fit into the set as if her own, and her vocal prowess more than matches up to Parton’s. In fact Blue Bird could well have been a Parton song, giving welcome respite from the more forlorn numbers.

But Lindi also has a charm of her own, Little Lie fusing catchy refrains over a bracing melody that makes it an instantly likeable song, whilst Jimmy Dean (her homage to James Dean) moves her out of the realm of introspection. If she delivers as promised and places closing song Cigarettes And Truck Stops on her next album, then she’s likely to be on to a winner, it’s more downbeat style giving needed variation to the set.

Tonight, Lindi doesn’t seem to venture too far out of tried and tested methods, penning songs which would fit easily into a ‘Country’s Greatest Hits’ album, but what she does, she does with such vocal precision and panache that this seems to be irrelevant.  Though the majority of the night is littered with references to Ortega’s vices, she weaves enough humour into the set that you move away from thinking she’s destined to join the 27 club, and instead leaves you to wonder if one day her boots might really become infamous.


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