Countertenor Folk singer of original songs, and early country folk songs with a heavy Mexican influence. Inspired by Patsy Cline, Gene Autry, & Bob Willis.
“When most people hear me sing they think I am a woman. I am a counter-tenor, and have a 4 octave vocal range.” - bobby blue
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. Not until I started performing in New York City did I try experimenting with those old Ranchera and vintage Country songs I had grown up with. They matched my countertenor voice, often compared to Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, and St. Vincent. Audiences loved the Spanish classics combined with my original English songs at legendary venues such as The Knitting Factory, CBGBs, The Bell House, Pete’s Candy Store, and Galapagos.
When people ask me to describe my music or who I sound like I have to admit that I have been inspired by everything I’ve ever heard. I may say I’m inspired by Loretta Lynn or Pink Floyd, not necessarily by sound, but maybe I’m using their approach. I think Indie Pop would be a general title for my genre; though DJs have also created hi-energy dance mixes of my material. My first release, In A Song, went to #13 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play Chart, spending 15 weeks on the countdown. Follow-ups All the Stars, Go, If, and Pura Vida were also worldwide hits.
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.