Josefina Martino (Uruguayan Artist)

(English translation of an article originally posted on

Josefina Martino is a young singer/songwriter. She has studied guitar, singing and piano, and when she was 17 she fronted her first band, Mama’s Sound. With Mama’s Sound, she played a blend of rock and blues. She went solo in 2009, and by now she has played the wide and length of the Eastern coast of the country, and also many restaurants and venues in Montevideo.

In 2010, she traveled to Spain. She worked as a pianist and solo singer at the restaurant Café Casino in Santiago de Compostela, where she played some of her first compositions.

Back in Uruguay, Josefina became the pianist and singer of the restaurant “Rara Avis” (Centro cultural Teatro Solís). And now, she’s about to issue her first album, “Tiempos Libres” [Spare Times]. The album includes ten original compositions, and a Rolling Stones’ cover. It was recorded with Nacho Mateu as arranger and artistic producer, Federico Navarro on guitar, Gerónimo De León on drums, Herman Klang on keybards, Nicolás Arnicho on percussion and Camila Ferrari on backing vocals.

This album is characterized by a combination of pop and rock, and also of styles such as country and ballads. This clearly reflects Josefina’s musical journey, and all the styles she’s gone through in order to arrive at her very own.

(To read this interview in Spanish, click here)

Q: What can you tell us about your upcoming album? When will you present it to the public, and where?

A: My first album (“Tiempos Libres”) is the fruit of a collaboration I started with Nacho Mateu in 2010. It includes 10 original compositions (which have been arranged by Nacho Mateu), and a Rolling Stones’ cover. In all likelihood, the album will be presented to the public on the 8th and 9th of November, in Lindolfo.

Q: What are your expectations?

A: I hope my work can be spread as much as possible. I’d like to reach people with my songs. As with any other first album, the idea is to begin gaining visibility, and to elicit a response.

Q: Which song should we necessarily listen to, and why?

A: Well, it isn’t easy to pick just a single song. I obviously like some of them more than others, but I feel a special affection for each and every one of them. If I had to choose, then I’d go for “Flores” [Flowers] and “Correr” [Run], these are two songs that come to define the album, and they’re both very different. The former is a pop song with a little bit of country, and the latter is a ballad that’s rooted on milonga.

Q: How old were you when you began writing songs?

A: I became interested in music when I was 15. It was then that I started to learn guitar. At that time, I wrote the kind of song you write when you’re 15, and I sang them whenever I could. A couple of years later (and after having matured) I felt like writing songs again. I was about 20 then, I had a more defined personality. And I had a clearer set of goals. I wrote the first songs that would lead me to this album back there and then. Continue reading

Blue (Joni Mitchell) – Album Review

The Album That Spearheaded The Whole Singer-Songwriter Craze Of The ‘70s, “Blue” Remains Joni Mitchell’s Most Popular Record To This Very Day.

"Blue" (1971) Remains Joni Mitchell’s Most Popular Record To This Very Day. The Album Brought A Whole New Degree Of Openness Into The Making Of Music.

The album which started Joni Mitchell’s commercially-successful days, “Blue” was also the one album heralding a whole new kind of sensibility. Starting with “Blue”, artists were no longer afraid to expose their failings and vulnerabilities. Music took on a completely confessional nature, and an openness that could be potentially healing but also imminently dangerous for its participants was established.

This could hardly be termed coincidental, of course. The idealism of the late ’60s had not just been challenged – it had been turned on its head. Everything was to become starker as the decade advanced. And musicians began expressing both their inner turmoil and the state the whole industry was in through their art. The results would rank from the too-close-for-comfort “The Who By Numbers” to albums like Dylan’s “Blood On The Tracks”, true artifacts of despondency that would have been out of place in the previous decade – a decade in which it was assumed that music would do nothing but change the world.

As I said when reviewing the “Hits” package, the sparser the instrumentation then the more effective the songs on “Blue” are. “River”, “Little Green”, “This Flight Tonight”… these songs wouldn’t have worked like they did otherwise. The directness of the sound simply highlights the true profundity of the message – the desire to break from the desolation of the whole music business expressed in “River”, the remorse of having given up a daughter for adoption and never hearing from her again as Joni did when she was young conveyed in “Little Green”, the self-flaying doubts upon leaving a loved one behind (as in “This Flight Tonight”)… Joni also looks resentfully on her marriage on the song “The Last Time I Saw Richard”, whereas “California” echoes the unsettling feeling of being in the wrong place at the wrong time expressed by “River”.

And even the songs which could be deemed as upbeat are weighed down by a sensation that brings to mind the old saying, “Happiness is nothing but sadness wearing a mask”. “A Case Of You” is dog-eared by destitution, the lyrics describing a love that is too strong and over-arching for its own good. And “All I Want” is a forceful reminder of how proximate loving is to hatred. In both cases, it seems as if the singer were the kind of person who gives just too much away. People like that always assume that his/her significant other will do the same. And when that doesn’t happen (because it just doesn’t happen – taking emotions for granted is as devastating as it is commonplace), a true circle of recriminations and self-loathing is patterned. Continue reading

Closer – The Best Of Sarah McLachlan (Compilation Album)

"Closer" Compiles Together Sarah Mc Lachlan's Greatest Hits Up To The Year 2008

"Closer" Compiles Together Sarah Mc Lachlan's Greatest Hits Up To The Year 2008

This one took a little to sink in, and it didn’t sink in completely. But the bits that managed to do it are ones I now treasure indeed. Sarah Mclachlan is a Canadian artist that began her career in 1988 with the album “Touch”, in which her trademark mixture of folk and pop was already fully manifested. That record included the hit single “Vox”, and that is the one song which starts this 16-track compilation which was first issued in 2008.

I think I don’t have to tell you it is one of the tracks that I truly treasure from it. The other two that I deem as exemplary songs are “Possession” and “Building A Mystery”. Both were quite successful in terms of chart performance – “Building A Mystery” topped the Canadian charts and almost hit the top 10 in the US. For its part, “Possession” garnered a lot of publicity since it dealt with a famous stalker that even filed a lawsuit against McLachlan – he was to eventually commit suicide before the trial started.

Some might find it startling that songs dealing with such negative realities turn out to be such compelling listens – just look at Elvis Costello’s “High Fidelity” or The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”. But when songs like that are successful, I don’t think that means people are “evil”– quite the opposite. It just showcases that “normal” people are naturally attracted to what happens on the other side. The more people who are keen on songs like these, then, the more representative sample we have of people’s saneness. Continue reading