Lindi Ortega
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Lindi Ortega

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Americana Alternative


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"The Toronto Star - Review 2011"

Next weekend, Joanne and Blair Sleightholm are bringing the Bluebird Café concept to their spacious Yonge and Eglinton-area home.

Inspired by the tiny Nashville restaurant that launched the songwriting careers of thousands, the Sleightholms are staging their second series of in-the-round performance house concerts for two, possibly three shows on January 8 in their living room, which holds 45 people.

Reasonably priced at $10 — all proceeds go to the musicians and sound-system rental — the two 90-minute acoustically-driven shows beginning at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. will feature local country music warbler Lindi Ortega; Indiana folk singer-songwriter Stephanie Lambring and two of the Sleightholms’ own budding artists, Madeleine and Gavin Slate; the former is a Nashville songwriter and the latter has just finished recording his debut album with producer Colin Cripps.

So why are the Sleightholms opening their abode to the public? Joanne Sleightholm says it’s a natural extension of their music loving lifestyle.

“Our house has always been filled with music, and people came to our house to jam all the time,” says Joanne, whose fulltime occupation is teacher consultant. Her husband Blair is a teacher.

“After dinners, we’d always have people over with guitars and we always sang around the living room. It didn’t matter — whenever people came over, we did that.

“So I got this idea: let’s just have kids come and sing at the house. I sent out e-mails to friends. The kids sent out e-mails, and within 24 hours, two shows were sold out. And we did that in June (2010).”

The allure for people to invite musicians into their homes for intimate shows seems to be growing, and not just locally. In Winnipeg, renowned promoter Mitch Podolak says the demand for house concerts is skyrocketing, and he’s generating the business to prove it.

Since 2006, Podolak — founder of the Winnipeg and Vancouver Folk Festivals — has been operating Home Routes, an organization that books performers exclusively into house-concert circuits across Canada.

“As of February 3, 2011, we will have 14 circuits of six performers,” says Podolak. “We’re coast-to-coast-to-coast and we’re growing at an extraordinary rate.”

Each circuit consists of six musicians performing a series of 12 concerts from late September through April. The Ontario circuit encompasses Mississauga, Georgetown, Guelph, Caledon, Meaford, Midland, Haliburton, Kanata, Wakefield, Quebec, North Gower and Pickering.

Prior to Christmas, New Jersey singer-songwriter Spook Handy, the father-daughter team of David and Ariana Gillis and Manitoba’s Lindsay Jane entertained each community; beginning February 4 through April 17, Nova Scotia’s Kev Corbett, Manitoba’s Jess Reimer and New Jersey’s Mike Agranoff are coming.

Even established names like Valdy, Barney Bentall and Tom Wilson are touring homes, as clubs dwindle: Podolak says there’s plenty of work for performers, especially in communities that are a little off the beaten track.

“We’re trying to fill two needs at once: the needs for artists for places to work and provide access to live music for rural Canada, primarily. We’re in the cities, too, but we’re way, way more in the small towns.”

Podolak says the admission to attend a house concert is $15, with the musicians keeping 85% of the gross and Home Routes retaining 15%. Musicians are billeted and fed by homeowner presenters, and Podolak says performers can net as much as “$2,000 per week.”

Figures provided on the Home Routes website ( also illustrate how quickly this business is growing: In the 2007-2008 season of four circuits across Canada, artist revenue was pegged at $133,000. For 2009-2010, an additional 10 circuits were implemented for a projected artist revenue of $512,000.

Podolak says there’s also an increased demand by potential presenters champing at the bit to get involved, even though they see no profit and bear the expenses.

“We have 40 on the waiting list,” he states. “We also expect by next fall to be somewhere around 18 or 19 circuits in Canada.”

Podolak also says next fall his first U.S. circuit will launch (in North Dakota), and that the goal of his six-member office is to reach “90 circuits in North America in order to make a really decent living.”

From a performer’s perspective, Toronto singer-songwriter Gregory Hoskins says house concerts provide hassle-free intimacy.

“I like the no-nonsense experience,” says Hoskins, who usually books a handful of house concerts a year through his website,

“A lot of them you can do without sound systems. It’s just a real nice thing to be able to play your songs and not worry about the other stuff — loading in and sound checking.

“There’s also an opportunity to have a different kind of communal experience when you’re sitting 30 feet away from the farthest person.

“For an audience, it’s kind of a mind-blowing night.”

Although he’s p - The Toronto Star

"The Persistance of Indie Lindi - 2010"

When The Killers’ Brandon Flowers visits The Sound Academy Saturday to support his new album Flamingo, he’ll have a local hired hand singing backup that everyone should keep an eye on.

Though raven-haired and ruby-lipped Lindi Ortega will be providing pop harmonies at the Flowers gig, it’s her own unique singing and songwriting take on alt-country that will significantly raise her global profile in 2011, when she releases her new album Little Red Boots in North America, Europe and Australia next summer.

Displaying a textured singing vibrato that’s hybrid Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris — and the integrity implied by each comparison — Ortega mines the high lonesome road of faltered romance in songs like “Dying of Another Broken Heart,” “Little Lie” and “Fall Down Or Fly,” albeit, in some cases, with a twisted smile.

“I like to tap into the feelings of loneliness, because I consider myself a loner,” says Ortega, the Pickering-raised only child of an Irish mother and Mexican father.

“I spend a lot of time on my own and I like to write songs that reach out to people that are like me in that respect.

“I think that loneliness is such a universal feeling. People feel like that all the time and I write for those people. I understand feelings of alienation, and whether you want to be alone or not. I find my songs run the gamut from tongue-in-cheek kind of humour about heartbreak, then loneliness — it’s all there for everybody.”

A bit of a late bloomer in the fact that she didn’t pick up a guitar until she was 16, Ortega’s decade of slogging it out in Toronto clubs and cafés through endless solo gigs — and two albums, 2001’s The Taste of Forbidden Fruit and 2007’s Fall From Grace — finally paid off when she was signed to Cherrytree/Interscope Records, home of Feist and Lady Gaga, in 2008.

Things began on a promising note: Ortega released a four-song EP called The Drifter and toured North America, securing opening slots for acts as diverse as Kinks co-founder Ray Davies; Twickenham indie folk band Noah and the Whale; East Sussex alternative rockers Keane, and Academy Award-winning actor-singer Kevin Costner and his Modern West.

A full album was recorded, but artist and label parted company before it was released. Ortega was relieved to once again be Indie Lindi, as she’s been called.

“It was just one of those things, where the label that I was on kind of exploded because of the whole Lady Gaga thing, and they started going in a more dance-pop kind of direction,” she shrugs. “What I was doing wasn’t really fitting in what they were pushing and what they were working at the time, so it got pushed to the back burner.”

Since her Interscope departure she’s signed on with her manager Chris Taylor’s label Last Gang Records, and recorded eight new songs with producer Ron Lopata for Little Red Boots, named for the eye-catching footwear she sports during her performances.

“I wanted the new record to be a little more ‘rootsy’ and the Interscope version was more pop-oriented,” Ortega notes.

“I’m much happier with what I’ve come up with now. I feel like it’s more me, and more indicative of the kind of music that I want to create, so it totally worked out for the best, and there’s really no hard feelings.”

Touring the world with Brandon Flowers has given Ortega a new showbiz perspective, allowing her to experience some of her biggest audiences and share some treasured small screen time on such late night TV staples as The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!

It’s also her first time on a tour bus. “It’s really cool to see how the big-scale operation works, but at the same time, I think there’s a lot to be said for the low-scale operations of beat-up old vans and staying in seedy motels across the country,” says Ortega.

“There’s a lot of character in that. It’s really beautiful and lovely to stay in these gorgeous hotels that we’ve been staying in, but both sides of the coin have their charm.”

- Nick Krewen, The Toronto Star - The Toronto Star

"ELLE Canada - Radar Photoshoot - March 2009"

Lindi Ortega has fronted a ska band and sung cabaret-tinged originals, but country music is the sound that feels just right for this Toronto-based singer-songwriter. "My mom was a huge country fan, so that's what I grew up listening to," she says. "I wanted to go back to the storytelling way of making music." Her Latest release, The Drifter E.P.(Island Def Jam/Universal), which was produced by Ron Lopata, includes the fabulously mournful "Dying of Another Broken Heart" and the enticing, one-for-the-road "Black Fly." It gives a small taste of this rising talent and the playful melodrama that coats her lyrics. "I feel heartbreak very intensely, so it comes out in a number of my songs," says Ortega. On "Dying of Another Broken Heart," she sings "There's no amount of morphine that will ever ease my pain" and "Even if there was a cure,I could not be saved," but don't take her that seriously. The intentionally over-the-top lyrics are meant to be endearing and humorous.

"There's so much that gets you down in life, I like to inject a little light-heartedness into everything to let people know that it's not so bad," she explains. That said, Ortega knows all about struggle, at least in the music business:She released her first solo album in 2001 under her first name only, a demo with the ska band Sugarkill and then another solo album in 2005, but nothing happened. "I started wondering if I was on the right path," she admits. Just when Ortega was thinking she's have to get a "real job", Lopata-who produced Tomi Swick and Ashley MacIsaac-asked if she'd like to write with him."I thought , 'What have I got to lose?'" says Ortega, who know boasts a U.S. record deal with Cherrytree(Feist,Lady Gaga) and a full-length album due out in the fall.

- Karen Bliss

Youtube video of the shoot - Elle Canada

"Meandre EP Review - October 2008"

After watching the Toronto-based country-folk singer-songwriter perform before Noah and the Whale in Chicago, I sought out an EP online. The Drifter E.P. (Cherrytree Records, 2008) is a short, simple sampling of her live show with a couple gems (one polished, one rough) amongst the four tracks. Starting with the last, the rough gem is entitled Drifter delivered cleverly and genuinely as a voice mail message. Peaking with a vibrato, Lindi calls out to her "drifter, the lonely traveler" to see if "I could be the one to make you stay, for a little while, with me."

The other polished stone comes by with All My Friends. Weaving her way through tales of sorrows and pills to calm herself, the strength remains in simplicity. It's just her voice and her guitar, which are more than most possess as her command in singing top the majority of emerging female singers today. Her vocals hold the texture of Alanis Morrisette and the dynamics of Tori Amos, but with the indie sensibility of early Jenny Lewis.

Admittedly, if you dwell a bit on the lyrics or music, it sounds basic. However, coupled with the excellent ability that rests in her voice and a focus to grow and branch from that point, Lindi Ortega could blossom into a superb singer-songwriter. (As long as she doesn't sacrifice the emotion in her delivery to do so.) The EP is a deal at only $2.49 via iTunes.

- Meandré - Meandré

"EP Review - 4 Stars - April 2, 2009"

Lindi Ortega is exactly what the Acoustic/Folk genre needs. While singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, few have the integrity and brutal honesty infused in Ortega’s lyrics. While her lyrical delivery is impeccable, the focus is really on her voice on her Drifter EP. Every syllable drips with the same sweet delivery that Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin became known for. The EP is mostly just Ortega and her guitar – and it’s this type of environment that really lets her shine. You can’t help but feel like she’s in the room with you, singing her lullabies of heartache with a voice that undulates with absolute splendor.

The first track on the EP, ‘Dying of Another Broken Heart,’ reads like a page right out of Johnny Cash’s songbook. When she sings “I should hold a funeral for every love I’ve lost and bury pieces of my heart under the winter frost,” it doesn’t matter how sensitive you are or aren’t, you will feel her pain. But in contrast, heartache and pain has never sounded so beautiful – the instrumentation of the song is gorgeous and you can even hear a xylophone at one point!

The next track, ‘All My Friends (vocal booth),’ has Ortega giving Dolly Parton a serious run for her money. Her voice flutters in the same manner as Parton and the song has the same ominous tone as Parton’s ‘Jolene’. Instead of someone trying to take Ortega’s man, we hear her begging for sanity because she’s going crazy – but when insanity sounds this brilliant, you almost hope she doesn’t find any meds before she writes another album of songs like this one.

‘Black Fly’ is the only song on the album with a full band sound to it. Although it sticks out among the other ‘vocal+guitar’ masterpieces, the band really compliments her vocals flawlessly. This song recalls Nicole Atkins’ best moments to mind – if any of Ortega’s tracks on the Drifter EP evoke the Americana sound, it most certainly is ‘Black Fly’.

The EP is finished out with Ortega singing the title track on an answering machine. It’s quirky and different, especially for her genre, but surprisingly, the manner in which it was recorded places the right amount of focus on her sugary sweet voice. By the time it’s over, you’re definitely left wishing this was a full length record. But isn’t that the point of an EP? One thing’s for sure – Ortega’s is one voice that will always leave listeners begging for more.

-Neil Miller, Jr.-UR - UR

"Interview - April 2, 2009"

XXQs: Lindi Ortega (PEV): Tell us how you first started out in music. Was this something that from day one you knew was going to be your career?

Lindi Ortega (LO):My daddy was a bass player in a Latino band, there were always instruments lying around the house. An old dusty beat up classical guitar caught my eye one day in my early teens. It was hanging on the wall in our basement. So I took it down from the wall and learned how to play a few chords and then this beautiful mad love affair with music ensued. I didn’t know from day one it would be my career, all I knew was that I was addicted to singing and playing guitar, it was just something I had to do and I was fully aware that no matter what, I was never gonna quit. That’s just how habits go I suppose.

PEV: Hailing from Toronto , what kind of music were you listening to growing up? Anyone in particular that stood out as an inspiration from the start?

LO: I was a homebody, a real loner type growing up, I was good pals with my mom and dad and I had a healthy appreciation for the music they listened to. My dad introduce me to really cool latino music, I loved the gypsy kings, they were the first band that got me real keen on rhythmic guitar playing. My mom was into a lot of outlaw country and classic pop. I remember Dolly Parton had a show on TV that my mom and I use to watch together, I was transfixed by her! We also listened to a lot of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and The Beatles.

PEV: You’ve been called “ Toronto ’s best kept secret”. Not a bad title to have. What do you think it about your style that has allowed you to arrive where you are today?

LO: Toronto keeps a lot of great secrets and a few of them are good friends of mine!
You know, I have always sorta felt on the outside, a little like I could’ve been in a traveling circus in a past life. I’ve just always done things different, and I think when people hear what I do, there’s a part of them that feels, in one sense, a strange familiarity, and in another sense, they are wondering "what the heck is this? What do I call this music?" But it doesn’t seem to stop them from diggin’ it, I think that’s cause it’s honest and it’s real. There’s no foolin’ folks with that stuff. I believe that’s what’s brought me to where I am - I wear my heart on my guitar.

PEV: What was it like for you when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, and regular gigs?

LO: It was tough as nails. I won’t lie… Very humbling moments of playing for a crowd of two people. Being broke and hungry and working God-awful minimum wage jobs, sometimes two at a time. I put all my earnings into recording demos and CD’s. I’d often opt to buy guitar strings over groceries. But I sorta loved it, the struggle of it all meant something to me. I felt like I was learning some big lesson the whole time and the tough moments would only serve me well and build my character. It took me a while to get going and have people pay attention, but when they did I was completely over the moon.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Lindi Ortega show?

LO: Well, being on stage is my most favorite thing in the world, and I am sure that it comes across pretty obviously to people that I’m totally lovin the experience. My hope is that people come to my show and leave feeling like they’ve made a rad new friend, then we can all hang out in the lonely heart club house together. I’m always gonna give to the crowd everything I’ve got.

PEV: How have your live shows evolved from when you first started out?

LO: When I first started out I had no idea what to say in between songs, there would be a lot of awkward silence and crickets chirping. It took me a little bit to come out of my shell and open up fully to the audience. But I no longer think of my shows in terms of being ‘performer vs audience’ , I think of it like we are all just chillin’ out together and having a cool hang.

PEV: Was there any time in your career where you thought that music wasn’t going to work out for you? If so, what brought you back?

LO: I had moments where I doubted myself. I wasn’t sure I was good enough or had the chops to have a career in music. But whenever I tried to do something else it just felt all wrong to me. The only time I ever felt right was when I was making music. I didn’t think about anything else, all I thought was that I had to do it. So I did it.

PEV: Is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

LO: Some of my Canadian pals are fantastic, The Midway State are great guys, and there’s a band I really dig called Wintersleep.

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your latest release, “Drifter”?

LO: They can expect a good dose of honesty injected into some catchy little ditties.

PEV: How is this work different from other music out today?

LO: Well I think its just that its a unique blend of my -

"Show Preview and Interview - April 3, 2009"

Opening for ex-Mavericks-gone-solo troubadour Raul Malo at the Keswick Theatre on Sunday, April 5th, is the emerging Canadian country/pop chanteuse Lindi Ortega, who just released her debut EP, The Drifter, on Cherrytree/Interscope (also home to Feist and Lady Gaga). Ortega’s got a lovely voice with a bit of old-school twang that’s drawn fair comparisons to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris; there’s a certain kind of sentimentality, but not sappiness, to her songs, and she renders heartbreak with both sorrow and dark humor. Taught to play acoustic guitar at 16 by her father, a bass player in a Latino band, Ortega has since gone on to open for the Kinks’ Ray Davies, James Blunt, Noah and the Whale, and now Raul Malo. We caught up with Ortega over the phone from her home in Toronto the other afternoon:

So you were just down at South By Southwest doing a bunch of showcases, right?
Oh yeah, that was fun, I had a good time there.

How many shows did you do?
I did about five. I ended up getting a little bit sick at the end, so I unfortunately had to cancel one of the shows, but yeah, it was great, it was a lot of fun, and it was my first time and I was just taking it all in. I totally did some crazy stuff – I had to serenade a Mexican restaurant, kind of like a mariachi. And I did this “mustache march” — I actually wore a mustache during my performance, which is something I’ve never done before.

Did you enjoy wearing the mustache?
I did, I did. I actually wanted to when they suggested it …when they were handing them out I said I wanted to wear one. I love doing stuff like that.

So have you spent much time here in Philly?
Never. I’ve never been there, I’m so excited!

The Keswick Theatre is kind of outside the city a little bit…
Ohhh, okay.

So you won’t get the full dose.
Mmm, maybe next time. I’ve heard a lot about the Keswick Theatre though, a lot of artists I know have played there. And I have a friend who lives there –- well, I’ve never actually met him, he’s sort of like an online friend — but he’s been to many concerts there and he always tells me how great it is and he bought tickets for the show, he’s really excited about it.

So what’s your feelings about your debut to the world, The Drifter, now that it’s out there?
I’m just happy to have stuff out there in stores. That’s the most exciting thing for me, that’s always been one of my dreams, to be able to go to a store and see my record on the shelf. I know that it’s just an EP, but it’s still going to be in the store and I’m totally excited about it.

There’s millions of people in the world who want to be a singer and have an album and all of that, but you actually went and did it. How does one make the leap from dreaming about something like that to actually doing it?
I’m very stubborn. I just never gave up, that was never a thought that entered my mind. I dunno, I had this innate feeling that I couldn’t do anything else, music was what I had to do and there was no plan B. This is just what I have to do and that’s it, and I was just so stubborn in that vision, and I guess it worked out.

How old were you when you realized you had the talent to possibly pursue this as a career?
I think when I was probably…I was in high school when I started to play assemblies that my school would put on, and I really got addicted to the whole being onstage and performing for people, it was a euphoria that I’d never experienced before. It was definitely an addiction. I think after that I just realized that…it wasn’t a matter of me thinking I was good enough to do it or not good enough. Honestly, it was just something I had to do, it was something I couldn’t stop doing, and I just went with that. I was a strong believer in following your heart and following your gut and doing what feels right to your being, and that’s what felt right to my being.

Do you remember first time you played in front of an audience?
Yeah. I totally remember. I was in high school and it was funny because I didn’t really realize that anyone would think I was any good as a singer until somebody said that they thought I had a good voice. I was singing to myself to my Walkman at my locker during lunch hour and this girl was like ‘Hey that’s really good, you can sing!’ and I was like, cool, I’m gonna give this a shot. And so I did this assembly and I got onstage in front of the whole school in the gymnasium and it was thrilling, and I felt like I never wanted to stop doing it, and I couldn’t wait for the next one.

Is it the same kind of thrill nowadays, or has that feeling changed at all now that you’re a more seasoned, experienced performer?
Well, I’ll tell you, I opened for James Blunt a little while ago and it was like a 3,000 capacity theater and that feeling was even more intense, it was totally intense. It’s an amazing thing to hear a room full of 3,000 people clap after you’ve played an original song, you know? So yeah, I think even now it still gets to me and - Philadelphia Weekly

"EP Review - 4 Stars - May 27, 2009"

Folky, country-and-western–flavoured local songwriters aren’t exactly uncommon in Toronto — I think “Dirty Old Town” must have been covered at bars around here more times than Shane MacGowan has sung it in his entire career — but Lindi Ortega sets herself apart from the herd. Her powerful, crystalline voice and strong songwriting skills prevent this new four-song EP from sounding too generic; “Black Fly” raunches up the formula with some Fleetwood Mac–style swing, and “Dying of Another Broken Heart” has a few couplets that wouldn’t shame Elvis Costello. Altogether, The Drifter might not be a perfect record, but it’s the perfect EP: a terrific teaser leaving you wanting more.

-Paul Isaacs - EYE Weekly

"Radio Interview & Performance - July 22, 2009"

When a friend of mine first told me about Lindi Ortega, I jumped at the opportunity to check out her music. Her 4 track Drifter EP which came out in May and it's been on frequent rotation on my Ipod.

Her lyrics are dark, but her voice is sweet and rich. Makes for an interesting dichotomy to say the least. Once you meet her you're even
more confused, because she is an offbeat zany type with an incredible zest for life and all that it brings.

We sat down last week to talk about where she's at with her music, the tour she's currently embarked on and stuff in general.

-Ira Haberman -

"KC Confidential - July 26, 2009"

"Sweet and spunky opening solo singer-guitarist Lindi Ortega from Canada was as brimming with Dolly Parton-like vocal talent as she was overflowing with charm.
Thank you, she said to well-deserved applause and whistles. I like this place . I wish Torontos crowd was like this.
Yes, she was an eye-opener in a red hair ribbon, red lipstick and red cowboy boots. But it was her straight-up version of Hank Williams Im So Lonesome I Could Cry that will stick to my heartstrings."

-Brian McTavish - KC Confidential

"August 28, 2009 - Feminist Review"

The wanderlust, the whisky, the love-done-me-wrong– Mexican-Canadian musician Lindi Ortega sings it all out on The Drifter EP, and even if you're not a fan of indie country folksiness, her voice calls to you. The singer's voice lulls and disarms with a sweetness that could be borderline saccharine. Nonetheless, she is saved by her expansive ability to belt out a tune. If you heard her singing in a bar, you'd probably be forced to put down your beer.

Ortega's EP has only four songs, so before you know it, the album is over. But the brevity could be a metaphor for the love affairs in some of her lyrics: Here today, sing about it tomorrow.

"Dying of Another Broken Heart" is a deadpan perspective on breakups: "I should hold a funeral for every love I’ve lost." Ortega's guitar and keyboards play out the rhythm of a pop-folk lullaby in contrast to the cynical humor. Except for an interlude of bells where the lullaby takes over, this mix of sweetness and cynicism works well.

"All My Friends" transposes Ortega's wit onto an allegory for alcohol and drug addiction. She sings about "Jack" and "Mary Jane", the "friends" who will kill her dead. Despite this heavy-handedness, Ortega plays the expert staccato chords of a protest song, complete with Jewel-like vocals.

"Black Fly" and "Drifter" provide a different kind of protest: the refusal to end relationships without "one last taste." "Black Fly" is the most orchestrated composition on the album, with drums added to guitar and vocals. A song with pop-country verve and Hollywood bravado, it could be a lost track from Thelma & Louise. But "Drifter" lowers the guitar and keyboard to bossa nova volume, creating a music box melody. Pristine and unadorned, Ortega's voice stays in a muted key. This is the album's most experimental work, and it shows her indie side.

Still, both songs are ballads for co-dependency: "Sometimes lies are sweet like honey/ When you tell me/ that you love me so/ I drink it up you know." "Drifter" is an extended voice-mail message for an elusive lover: "I wonder what you’re running from/ Yes, I wonder if I could be the one/ to make you stay." (Step One for co-dependents: Do not leave songs as voice-mail messages.) But Ortega can sing with a boldness that needs no serenity prayers. Why not evince the same boldness with her lyrics?

Mainstream and indie, sweet and cynical, co-dependent and standing on her own, Lindi Ortega experiments with many musical personas, and, despite a few missteps, The Drifter offers the work of an eclectic artist worth exploring.

-Andrea Dulanto - Feminist Review

"Feature in Latina Magazine,"

Possibly the only Canadian-bred female country singer/songwriter with Mexican and Irish roots, Ortega’s influences include Johnny Cash, Ray LaMontagne and her own bass-playing dad. At 31, she’s already become a veteran of the Toronto club scene, opened for James Blunt and released an EP of haunting, melodic folk songs called The Drifter EP. It’s really just a teaser for her pop-conscious major label debut, due in the fall via Cherrytree/Interscope Records.

- By Grace Bastidas, Monica Herrera and Angie Romero - Latina Magazine


Drifter EP, Cherrytree Records

Little Red Boots (2011), Last Gang Records



Somewhere in an old 1960’s apartment building in the city of Toronto, Canada, a well worn pair of cherry red cowboy boots wait by the door. About a half foot from those boots sits a guitar case, brightly decorated with glittery stars and images of mexican painter, Frida Kahlo.

A little down the hallway and towards the bedroom, a Johnny Cash record is spinning away. On the bed is a journal with a bird on the front cover and the saying “Go Slow, Life in Progress”.

Sitting on the floor with a bottle of merlot and a red flower in her dark hair is where we find Lindi Ortega.

Its rather obvious from her appearance that Miss Ortega , with her ruby lips and Mexican/Irish background, is the kinda gal that would stand out in a crowd,but she prefers to be standing in front of one.

She’s no stranger to the stage, having toured across Canada and the United States, Ortega has performed for all kinds of audiences. She opened for the UK band Keane in North America, as well as a successful midwest run with movie star Kevin Costner and his band The Modern West.

Ortega released a four song EP in 2009 on Interscope/Cherrytree records called THE DRIFTER EP. It was met with critical acclaim. Toronto’s ‘Eye Weekly’ gave it a glowing four star review and called it “The perfect EP” and “A terrific teaser”. UR Chicago Magazine remarked that Lindi’s voice “undulates with absolute splendor”, and Feminist Review said of Ortega “If you heard her singing in a bar, you'd probably be forced to put down your beer.”

But Lindi wouldn’t want you to put down your beer, she would encourage you to order another round while serenading you with her arresting vocals and unique brand of alt country, a genre she describes as “a roadside motel love affair between old school outlaws and country darlings”.

Lindi Ortega has just completed a new full length record produced by Ron Lopata and set for release on Last Gang Records in the summer of 2011. The record will be a collection of songs that aims to speak to the desperado in all of us.

Be sure to keep an ear out for that sweet vibrato and an eye out for those little red boots because it wont be long before Canada boasts of a brand new country darling.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
02/03/11 - The Supermarket
02/09/11 - CMW @ The Rivoli
02/11/11 - CMW @ The Supermarket
On tour as a backup singer for Brandon Flowers(The Killers)
04/7/11 - 04/17/11

Previous Tours:
17/09/2008 - Support for Noah & The Whale Tour (3.5 weeks) - USA
05/02/2009 - Support for Jeremy Fisher (multiple dates) - Ontario, Canada
25/02/2009 - Support for Ladies of The Canyon (multiple dates) - Ontario, Canada
15/03/2009 - SXSW - Austin, Texas
03/04/2009 - Support for Michael Bolton - Montreal, Canada
04/04/2009 - Support for Raul Malo Tour (3 weeks) - USA & Canada
23/06/2009 - Support for Common Rotation (multiple dates) - USA
06/07/2009 - Support for The Proclaimers (multiple dates) - Canada
25/07/2009 - Support for Kevin Costner & Modern West (3 weeks) - USA
11/09/2009 - Support for Keane (2 weeks) - Canada
22/09/2009 - Support for Kate Voegele - Toronto, Canada
07/10/2009 - Support for Dustin Bentall (multiple dates) - Ontario, Canada
22/10/2009 - Support for The Skydiggers (multiple dates) - Ontario, Canada
11/02/2010 - Support for Dustin Bentall - Toronto, Ontario
09/03/2010 - Support for David Ford - Toronto, Ontario
20/05/2010 - Support for Turn Brakes - Toronto, Ontario
06/16/2010 - Support for Sarah Harmer - Meadford, Ontario
On tour as a backup singer for Brandon Flowers(The Killers)
08/17/10 - 04/16/10