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LINDI ORTEGA – LIBERTY: REVIEW


LINDI ORTEGA

Liberty (Shadowbox/Cooking Vinyl)

Yes, ok, it hasn’t been made yet, but lordy, I want to see this film, Liberty: a spaghetti western with a protagonist who has revenge in her heart, a desert ahead of her and a horse she can trust far more than any lowdown, scheming, likely cattle-rustling/definitely life-scamming piece of doggone dirtbag humanity.

Over there is the devil’s shadow which may startle that palomino but it won’t scare either of them enough to deter. “You’re a liar, but you dress up like a sheep, and you think you’re fooling me, but you ain’t fooling me.” The wind blows through the trees as the night sky rolls endlessly. A sprayed bullet doesn’t kill her even though “no one could survive with all of the blood that I bled”, but given she survived “I guess I’ll try living instead”.

A man arrives in a dusty poncho and a guitar on his back, “his name was Pablo” but what will he sing for you? It’s worth noting that there’s “a difference between lovers and lovers in love”, which is “some take a sip while some drink it up”. And our star is one to drink deeply – of love, fury, revenge.

But eventually that burden can be shed and she and her horse “through the desert, riding free … riding towards the sun” can resume their journey “from Phoenix Arizona to old New Mexico”.

Apart from the storyline, which offers the chance for epic scenes, searing close personal fare and more than a line or three of droll humour, the film is going to have a soundtrack equally capable of grand, intimate and funny. Morricone and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Paris, Texas and the Border Trilogy, Kitty Welles and Lalo Guerrero. Three instrumental passages heralding each section of the “film” and in, Gracias a la Vida, a closing number from far, far south – Chile – which is a note of thanks and a nod to survival.

There’s twang and parping trumpets, the sound of loneliness and the cry of a harmonica, electric and upright bass, whistling and men on the work detail, pedal steel and strings, north and south of the border feels, drums brushed and drums whacked, hands waved and hands clapped. And among it all, leading it all, Ortega’s airy, innocence-gone-wrong voice which can be tremulous or controlled as the world demands but never feels as if it will bend much at all beneath the pressure.

Concept album? Film score and script in one package? A slice of Americana telling an American story universally? One for Eilen Jewell fans? Funny, dark, angry, tender and open to the sky? Yes, sure, all of them.

So now we’re agreed, could someone make the film soon, please?

#LindiOrtega

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