Originally Published in Salon
Gary M. Kramer - October 19, 2020
Linda Ronstadt may have retired from performing in 2009, but the Grammy-winning singer is still involved in music. The inspiring documentary, "Linda and the Mockingbirds" chronicles Ronstadt's journey back across the U.S.-Mexico border to Sonora, her grandfather's hometown, for a concert by Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds).
The group, founded in 1989 by Eugene Rodriguez, and supported by Ronstadt, performs traditional Mexican dances and songs — like the ones Ronstadt sang on her double-platinum "Canciones de mi Padre," which remains the top-selling non-English language album in American record history.
The hourlong documentary, directed by James Keach, concentrates on how music can be a family project, uniting people with its power, culture, and tradition. Learning the roots of one's heritage, as Ronstadt did, brings understanding, visibility, and pride. In interviews in the film, Ronstadt emphasizes that music carries truth. For anyone who has ever heard her perform, the power of the singer's voice comes through.
The singer, who was also the subject of last year's fantastic documentary, "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice," spoke with Salon about Mexican culture, music, and her new documentary.