Lara Manzanares | Land Baby

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Land Baby

by Lara Manzanares

WINNER: 2018 Album of the Year, New Mexico Music Awards. With a pure and focused voice, a rootsy folk-rock vibe and a Latin + Southwest sensibility, Lara sings stories of passion and comedy that cut to the heart – and motivate your soul to move.
Genre: Folk: like Joni
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Land Baby
2:28 $0.99
2. Census Song
3:35 $0.99
3. Lobito
2:46 $0.99
4. Writing Letters
5:07 $0.99
5. El Poeta
3:50 $0.99
6. Loss
3:04 $0.99
7. Rapunzel
3:10 $0.99
8. Love in the City
2:51 $0.99
9. Borderlands
3:11 $0.99
10. Intextinguible
4:13 $0.99
11. The Wire
5:56 $0.99
12. Manolo
3:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
WINNER: 2018 ALBUM OF THE YEAR, New Mexico Music Awards

Land Baby is about movement – not only physical and geographical movement, but also emotional and cultural. I was raised on a ruggedly beautiful but isolated sheep ranch in northern New Mexico, with my parents’ 1960s and 70s folk and rock record collection to keep me company. I grew up hearing both English and Spanish and speaking Spanglish. The stories, customs, and traditions of my childhood were rooted in the distinct culture of northern New Mexico: a deeply complex mixture of old-world Spanish, Mexican, Native American, and Anglo-American ways of being, all held together by a deep connection to the land.

When our family wasn’t hiking across the mountains behind the sheep, we were in our living room having rock n’ roll dance parties led by my Dad. The Doors, The Beatles, The Supremes, Simon and Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash and more melded with local spanish polkas and chotizes played on the piano by my great-grandfather, the classic country and bluegrass fiddle tunes of my grandmother, and the Garth Brooks-era country and Mexican rancheras and corridos that wafted over the local radio waves. The haunting and mournful alabados of the Catholic penitentes at our local religious ceremonies provided a deeply beautiful and melancholic undertone to the wild, pulsing freedom of the landscape, and the beats of our neighbors in the Pueblos and on the Navajo and Apache reservations permeated the oftentimes dusty air.

I left New Mexico at 18 and headed out into the world. I spent my twenties in transit: Appleton Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Granada, Spain; Milwaukee, Chicago, and finally, six years in San Francisco. I did all the things you’re supposed to do in your twenties: I lived, loved, learned, made music, and danced my socks off. I met amazing and interesting people, began and ended relationships, and forged strong friendships. Family secrets were revealed and dynamics shifted. I learned about new cultures and fell in love with new music. I sang Mexican rancheras on the streets. People asked me about my cultural background and were oftentimes confused by my answer. I got knocked down a few times but always found a way back up through my music.

This movement – across land, across time, across cultures and languages, and through emotional space – is what this album is about. People still ask questions about my cultural identity. I try to explain it with words, but my answer never stays completely still… and so I sing it instead.

"I'm a land baby, desert baby, cactus-eatin' sand lady, a land baby, desert baby, cactus-eatin' sand lady!"

~ Lara


Album: "Land Baby"
Lyrics and Music by Lara Manzanares
Recorded and Mixed by Jono Manson at The Kitchen Sink Studios
Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering
Cover Design: Lara Manzanares
Cover Photograph: Alexandra Rose

Lara Manzanares | Lead and Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Shaker on Lobito, Footfalls and Insect Noises on Land Baby
Jono Manson | Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tenor Guitar, Background Vocals on Borderlands
Char Rothschild | Trumpet on El Poeta, Trumpet and Accordion on Borderlands
Mark Clark | Cajon, Drums, Congas, Percussive Elements
Justin Bransford | Upright Bass, Electric Bass
Rafael Herrera | Cowbell on Lobito
Raquel Covarrubias | Guiro on Lobito
Felix Peralta | Electric Guitar on Lobito
Jordan Wax | Violin on Writing Letters

Jordan Wax, Jono Manson, Justin Bransford, Char Rothschild, J. Michael Combs, Claire, Ezri, and Victor Roybal, Felix Peralta, Chessa Peak, Lara Manzanares, Adam Warniment, Jr., Joaquin Houston, Francella Manzanares



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Absolutely Marvelous
Land Baby yearns to be heard. Crafted with the heart and dedication of true professionals, and adorned generously throughout with the searing natural talent that are Lara's unique, simultaneously haunting and soothing vocals; it succeeds wildly in evoking each of the many distinct feelings each song aims to communicate. A persistent air of bittersweet melancholy permeates the album, stained with wistfulness yet illuminated by a glorious sensation of hope--like watching your car burning in the desert night while somehow, miraculously, remaining optimistic about it all. Playful and poignant in roughly equal measure, endearingly and unmistakably human, sincere, and skillful, it does everything good music is supposed to do, all while never failing to simply be enjoyable. Striking a delicate and palatable balance between a catchy folk-rock radio-readiness, and poetic density demanding focused, repeated listens to fully appreciate, this stunning debut, with its utter lack of throwaway filler material, stands as both an awesome achievement on its own, and a hair-raising herald of an illustrious career.