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Review: The Undertaker's Daughter
The Undertaker's Daughter is the second album from singer/songwriter Mama Gina. It is a collection of stories, myths, and tales from her life that inspire and touch the listener. With this album, she is set to make a big impact in the Pagan music genre. Look out, world! Here comes Mama Gina.
Gina LaMonte is not a newbie when it comes to making music, she joined her first cover band at age 17. Although she admits she wasn't very good, she was fortunate enough to have a fellow band member show her the ropes and who wasn't afraid to be blunt when he needed to be. That was a good thing to Gina, because without that, she knew she wouldn't have gotten any better. She eventually spent a year working with blues musicians in Memphis, which is where she attributes her current, bluesy folk sound. She has spent many years since then playing with bands of almost every genre of music.
During a rainy journey to Pagan Spirit Gathering in 2009 Gina had a spiritual connection between her and her music that inspired her to begin making Pagan music. The songs that flowed out of her eventually became her first album, Goddess Kiss'd, and now this album, The Undertaker's Daughter.
The songs on The Undertaker's Daughter are wonderfully written and very personal. The title track is written in honor of her father and a story of four generations in three verses. Cerridwen's Cauldron, the opening track, is powerful and tells the story that Cerridwen's muse comes at a price, but is it too much? Coyote's Tattoo uses the Native American mythology of the trickster coyote to remind the listener to be careful what you wish for. My personal favorite, Freya's Lullabye is a mixture of joy and sorrow. It is a song written for a child, when you have seen the child's future and inevitable death. Mojo is a lighthearted look at life when it seems like it gives you several truckloads of lemons.
Mama Gina knows how to use her instruments to express the raw emotions and soul of her songs. Her guitar and voice drip with sorrow on one song and ring with the sound of her drum in joy with the next. Her soulful, bluesy voice and experienced talent in musicianship make The Undertaker's Daughter a joy to listen to from beginning to end. Her vocals and guitar practically weep through the title track and the mischievous laughter of The Brownie Song will make you grin. Ruby takes a slightly progressive rock spin on the album with a very Rick Wakeman sounding keyboard riff.
Mama Gina is well poised to be one of the names brought up when discussing modern Pagan music. If there is such a thing as an “A” list of Pagan musicians, Mama Gina is well on her way to being in some very good company with The Undertaker's Daughter. This is a powerful album and she is welcome among the best.
Truly an American bard, Mama Gina has come a long way to finally earn her place in Pagan music royalty. She told me “The songs on The Undertaker’s Daughter were all born in silence and deep listening. Well, except for The Brownie Song – that was born in silliness and laughter."
- Mama Gina hails from Tampa Bay, Florida. She is married to her husband, Lou LaMonte, Jr and has a son, Jesse Guggino. She has played music professionally most of her life, while her alter ego dabbled in the world of corporate America for 20 years as a file clerk and paralegal. She was lucky enough to be out of the broom closet with her co-workers and quit her day job to realize her dream of playing music and touring October 1, 2013.
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