“When most people hear me sing they think I am a woman. I am a counter-tenor, and have a 4 octave vocal range.” – bobbyblue
Pumping Norteño bass scored my childhood soundtrack in the small motor town of Bedford, Indiana. An energetic culture-clash forged my home, sparked by contrasting parents: My factory-worker father, a good ole’ boy from the Indiana backwoods, was my hero. He had nothing in his childhood, but grew to give us everything. My mother came from a tiny village in the Costa Rican rainforest to search for a better life in the US. A fantastic cook, she encouraged my spirit, music, dancing, and imagination. Once, we were coloring and I didn’t have a green crayon for the trees. “The trees can be any color you want,” she told me. That’s been my philosophy ever since.
Growing older, though, my imagination and independence could make for a hard time. My ever-changing, crazy hair and Madonna-wannabe ensembles were a bit much for Bedford. Bullied and picked on, a teacher once even threatened to beat out my sissiness with his fists, but the spirit of music kept me going. From age four, I sang, performed, and composed in school plays, recitals, choirs, and voice lessons: Glen Campbell at family parties. Bjork and Sinead O’Connor at my bedroom mirror. I prayed for Madonna to rescue me. She never showed. So I got the hell out of Bedford.
My mother loved Mexican music, and my father loved old country. Always looking for something my own, I focused on pop and dance, missing the supremely beautiful melodies right in front of me. Not until I started performing in New York City did I play those hundred-year-old Mexican songs. They matched my counter-tenor voice, often compared to Karen Carpenter, Sinead O’Connor, and Jeff Buckley. Reworking myself as a songwriter and guitarist, audiences loved the Spanish classics combined with my original English songs. At legendary venues such as The Knitting Factory, CBGBs, The Annex, Pete’s Candy Store, and Galapagos, I have woven together inspirations from The Carter Family and Styx to The Mamas & the Papas, Kraftwerk, and John Mellencamp.
When most people hear me sing they think I am a woman. I am a counter-tenor, and have a 4 octave vocal range. In the studio, my songs take on a “folky electronic” sound, recording with producer Abe Seiferth. Played on radio stations from Nicaragua to Micro Asia, DJs have also created hi-energy dance mixes, catching the attention of New York’s dance label, Hades Music. My first release, In A Song, went to #15 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play Chart, spending 13 weeks on the countdown. Follow-up All the Stars, went Top 10 and was a worldwide dance hit. My new album, Sunshine, will collect original songs and updated Mexican classics, including Lola Beltran’s Cucurrucucu Paloma and Bread’s If.
When not singing, I’ve been the founder and co-host of The Williamsburg Spelling Bee at Pete’s Candy Store. Since 2004, we’ve been covered by NBC, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, NPR U.S.A., NPR Germany, NPR Japan, Time Out NY, Paper Magazine, and many international newspapers and airline travel magazines.
From Indiana to Costa Rica, Country to Norteño, and “axolotl” to “sesquipedalian,” that’s my pura vida.