Eugene musician Marietta Bonaventure says she’d played in so many bands around town she felt “there’s really no music that needs to be played right now.”
That was until inspiration struck for Llorona, a “Mexamericana” band honoring the Mexican-American heritage of Bonaventure as well as several other band members. Bonaventure says that especially now, with the anti-immigration rhetoric coming from the White House, it’s especially meaningful to be able to represent that lineage to Eugene audiences.
La Llorona, in Mexican folklore, is the ghost of a woman who wanders near rivers crying for her lost children.
Llorona is celebrating the release of its second album, So Far from the World Above, recorded here at Sprout City Studios. Along with Bonaventure, Llorona features Ricardo Llamas on bass and vocals, Madeline Bolt on violin, and Dave Hicks on guitar.
Over acoustic arrangements and behind Bonaventure’s lusty alto singing voice — one of Eugene’s finest — Llorona puts a modern, Americana twist on traditional ranchera music. Ranchera is a style often described as a little like Mexican country music: Think mourning lost love and drinking wine in a dimly lit bar.
“We have never intended to play authentic ranchera,” Bonaventure explains, adding that Llorona explores Mexican folklore in the songwriting as well as universal themes like how rebound relationships help heal a broken heart. What Bonaventure says she appreciates most about Mexican music is how it “explores pain.”
“There’s an emotional honesty,” she describes. “It’s melodic. It’s melodramatic. It’s not really bar music. It’s listening music.” Bonaventure appreciates the willingness of Llorona’s audiences to do so.
Llorona celebrate the release of So Far from the World Above along with Corwin Bolt & The Wingnuts 9:30 pm Saturday, March 10, at Sam Bond’s Garage. $5, 21-plus.