Music Reviews
Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt

Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands


A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands is the soundtrack to Linda Ronstadt’s memoir _Feels Like Home_written in collaboration with Lawrence Downes and photographer Bill Steen. The project began life as a cookbook but grew into something much bigger. The book does contain 20 recipes of traditional Sonoran dishes.

Linda and Putumayo founder Dan Storper curated this musical accompaniment to Feels Like Home. The album features songs from her childhood along with selections from her musical career and songs that fit the story of the region. Lalo Guerrero and Ry Cooder open the set with “Barrio Viejo,” a song about losing friends and a changing neighborhood. Los Cenzontles, a group revitalizing Mexican roots music, appear on several tracks including the folk song “Palomas Que Andan Volando” and “Naninan Upirin,” which is sung in the indigenous language P’urhépecha.

Ronstadt includes songs that fit the mood of the borderlands. Her duet with Dolly Parton, “I Never Will Marry,” is an old Appalachian ballad. “Across the Border” is a Bruce Springsteen song. Another family member, D. Ronstadt, contributes “Canadian Moon.”

I wish I had the book, Feels Like Home, to read while listening to this collection. The record works well as a standalone love letter to the people of the borderlands and a reminder that we have a lot in common with the folks on the other side. As Linda told an NPR reporter, “Get to know your neighbor. You might just like them.”

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