Lindi Ortega Taking Things To The Next Level With New Album

(Radio.com) "Well if the music wasn't running through the blood in my veins, I would walk away," Lindi Ortega sings on the title track of her upcoming album, Tin Star (out October 8). "But the music keeps on running through the blood in my veins, and it just makes me stay."

Ortega has been making music for over a decade, but it's only been in the past few years that she's started to move to the "next level" with punk rockers and music supervisors taking an interest in her and her career. After years in the trenches, Ortega's been given some well-deserved breaks (more on those in a moment), but doesn't feel like she's made a name for herself just yet.

"I still identify with buskers who are working and struggling every night," she told Radio.com. "At the same time, more people now know who I am, things are starting to happen for me."

Some of those "things that are starting to happen" for Ortega are due to some fortunate and unusual turns of events. First off the Canadian expat, who currently lives in Nashville, has done two tours opening for punk rock legends Social Distortion. "We had no idea how it was gonna go," she said. "I thought I might get big burly tattooed bearded guys throwing tomatoes at me!"

Instead, she gained a noticeable amount of new fans. "A lot of people who have come to my headlining shows–I play 200 – 300 capacity rooms–are from the Social D shows," she said. "They were accepting of what I do, even the slower songs. I feel like I owe a lot to Mike Ness and Social Distortion for putting me in front of their audience. I hear it at every show, 'I discovered you opening for Social D!' The exposure to their audience helped me turn a corner in my career, I'm very grateful."

Another punk icon who is now a fan is Tim Armstrong of Rancid and the Transplants. He caught Lindi's performance at California's annual punk/Americana festival Hootenanny and invited her to his studio to be part of his Tim Timebomb recordings, which is a series that has Armstrong recording and releasing one song a day, often with help from a special guest. The two recorded a country version of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated."

The video has over 22,000 views now, which has likely exposed her to even more punk rock fans. As did playing Hootenanny, where fans show up in their rockabilly best: pompadours, Bettie Page bangs, bowling shirts and pinup dresses. Ortega felt right at home at the festival.

"It's funny: usually when I play folk festivals – with my black dress, a veil and the red boots – I feel like a freak of nature," she said. "But at these rockabilly shows, I feel like I'm among my people, I don't feel like a freak at all. I feel like I totally fit in. I felt like I made a lot of connections at that show." more on this story

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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