An Evening of Bardic Folk With Guitarist Mama Gina, Plus Rick de Yampert’s East-West Sitar Fusion
FlaglerLive | September 2, 2016
When Tampa singer-guitarist Gina LaMonte penned her song “Nine Toes the Bard” a year ago, she had no idea the song would turn out to be prophecy.
LaMonte, whose stage name is Mama Gina, will sing the saga of Nine Toes when she performs Saturday Sept. 3 during a concert at Salvo Art Project in Bunnell. Palm Coast sitar player Rick de Yampert will open the show.
A former paralegal turned full-time folk musician, LaMonte had already released three CDs when she wrote a playful, bawdy song about a lustful dragon who strikes a bargain with an unheralded bard, who just wants listeners to remember her name.
That song, “Nine Toes the Bard,” soon blossomed into a full-blown alter-ego for LaMonte as she performed it at festivals and coffee houses around the Southeast. Other Nine Toes songs were conjured even as Mama Gina continued to write other tales – bluesy, grit-voiced tracks about life’s trials by fire (“The Empress Down Rattlesnake Road”), gentle ballads about love, death and eternity (“Collapse”) and more.
Then, while on tour early this summer, a “dragon” in the form of diabetes led to an instance of life imitating art.
“If you’ve been following my misadventures this summer, I am truly now Nine Toes the Bard,” LaMonte wrote in a Facebook post. Complications from diabetes led to one of her toes being amputated during a tour stop in St. Louis.“If one could have a spiritual and transformative experience from losing a toe and learning to live — and I do mean LIVE — with diabetes, I have had that experience,” LaMonte wrote. “I promise you that I have used my down time well and that there are many new songs — all of them in the world of Nine Toes the Bard.”
LaMonte, who labeled herself a “fearless bard” even before her Nine Toes persona arose, says she writes songs about “life, death and rebirth,” her “spiritual connection to the natural world” and about “our responsibility to nurture both the mundane and the magical.”
Along with her 12-string guitar, Mama Gina occasionally accompanies herself by playing djembe (African hand drum) or a frame drum.
Her CDs “Goddess Kiss’d,” “The Undertaker’s Daughter,” “Solitaire” and “I Remember Love” are available at Amazon, CDBaby and iTunes.
Sitar player Rick de Yampert calls his music “East-West fusion.” Along with original works, he will perform his arrangements of Beatles songs and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”
The recital is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m., at Salvo Art Project, 313 Old Brick Road (in the Nature Scapes Landscape & Garden Center), Bunnell. Admission is $10, or $15 includes ticket for raffle of a painting by JJ Graham. For information, call 386-334-2752, salvoart.org or mamaginamusic.com.