Here we are, rolling merrily along into the New Year – feeding the sheep every day, continuing to develop our woolen products – and listening to new music! We are proud to share the news that our daughter Lara recently released her first album of original music. The title of the album, Land Baby, comes from the title track, whose lyrics were inspired by the New Mexico landscape and which includes the sounds of work equipment from the ranch as part of the percussion. In addition to writing and singing the songs, Lara also designed the album cover, using a Churro blanket that she wove as the background image and featuring a portrait of one of our ewes in the fold-out portion of the CD cover. Lara’s creative spirit never ceases to surprise us! Here are a few ways you can listen to and order Lara’s music:
- Purchase digital downloads or hard copies of the album at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/laramanzanares
- Search for Lara Manzanares or Land Baby on iTunes
- Visit Lara’s website, http://www.laramanzanares.com
Here's what Lara had to say about the album:
"Land Baby is about movement – not only physical and geographical movement, but also emotional and cultural. I was raised on a 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 penitentes at our local religious ceremonies provided a beautifully mournful 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 the next 15 years 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 when you leave home: 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. 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 I tried my best to explain the complex and unique cultural flavor of Northern New Mexico, with varying degrees of success. 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. I still get asked about my cultural roots. When I try to explain it with words, my answer never stays completely still… and so I sing it instead."