La Santa Bruja, Chavela Vargas
France has the lovely sparrow, Edith Piaf, Mexico counters with the booming, melancholic and echoing storytelling of our beloved bruja, Chavela Vargas.
While born in Costa Rica, Isabel Vargas Lizano, or "Chavela", short for Isabela, immigrated to Mexico at 17 in 1936 and attained Mexican nationality where she lived for almost eighty years.
In her youth, she dressed as a man, smoked cigars, drank heavily, carried a gun. The badassery of this woman is apparent in her rough, but tender voice where she only sang with a guitar and had a slurring of choice lyrics as if she were a drunk man in a cantina.
It’s why my approach this rendition of her is of a higher power, but devoid of any specific entity where she summons its power that exalts her as a higher shaman, una bella bruja.
Oh, and she was gay! 🙂
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