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Our Little Planet

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Album Review

Country has always played a significant role in Tish Hinojosa's musical vocabulary, but usually contemporary folk and Latin influences have displayed a stronger influence in her recorded work. But Hinojosa has given her country side more room to move on her 2009 album, Our Little Planet. In the 1990s, Hinojosa spent some time writing for a Nashville publishing house and made some money on the side singing on publishing demos; Hinojosa has gone back to some of her Nashville songs for this set, and while the spare acoustic-based production and arrangements are a far cry from the slick Nash Vegas product that floods country radio these days, the gentle sway of classic country & western obviously informed the melodies of these songs, even on her Spanish-language duet with Carrie Rodriguez, "Mi Pueblo." Hinojosa's lyrics on these songs reflect the emotional warmth that's long been a cornerstone of her work, but her take on the everyday realities of life and love in tunes like "Tomorrow's Gonna Come," "What Our Hearts Can't Say," and "We Mostly Feel That Way" reveals more of a regular-folks tone than her compositions that dig deeper into life's mysteries, though she works just as capably in this framework. One thing that hasn't changed from Hinojosa's previous recordings is her lovely voice, and her hold on this material is graceful but sure, while the backing ensemble (anchored by producer and multi-instrumentalist Marvin Dykhuis and including some fine steel work from Greg Leisz) dovetails sweetly with her vocals. And though this set is far from hard country, Hinojosa more than holds her own on "Count Me In," a duet with honky tonk master Dale Watson. Hinojosa hasn't turned her back on her traditional style so much as she's adjusted the proportions on Our Little Planet, and the finished product is another deeply satisfying album from a truly gifted (and underappreciated) singer/songwriter.

Biography

Born: 06 December 1955 in San Antonio, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tish Hinojosa has drawn numerous critical accolades for her borderless approach to music, blending Mexican folk and country music with a modern singer/songwriter sensibility and touches of pop. Born Leticia Hinojosa in San Antonio in 1955, Hinojosa's parents were Mexican immigrants, and she soaked up their music as well as the area's country sounds and the socially relevant rock & roll of the '60s. She started playing guitar as a teenager, singing folk and pop songs in local clubs; she also sang...
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Our Little Planet, Tish Hinojosa
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