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Fronteras: ‘Singing from a deeper place’ — Singer Lisa Morales talks life, inspirations ahead of TPR concert

Music runs in the blood of singer-songwriter and producer Lisa Morales.

Like her cousin Linda Ronstadt, Morales and her sister Roberta embraced a love for music when growing up in Tucson, Arizona.

Lisa and Roberta recorded six albums together as the duo Sisters Morales, blending country, folk, rock, and traditional Mexican music. They were the first Latina duo to be signed by RCA Records in Nashville.

Roberta died of cancer in 2021.

Lisa Morales tells Fronteras contributor Nathan Cone that as a Tucson native, her music is firmly rooted in the Southwestern U.S. and beyond.

“We’re influenced (by) Sonora (Mexico) and so the ranchera music was … what we grew up with,” she said. “To me, that was Mexican country music. It was so salt-of-the-Earth and talking about the lamenting of losing land.”

Since the death of her sister, Morales released three solo albums — the most recent named She Ought to be King. She is putting the finishing touches on a new project that will be released this September.

Morales said several of her new songs will pay tribute to Roberta, including one called "Hermanitas in the Rain." 

“It’s about when we were little girls in Tucson. If it rained, the street behind our house … would fill up with water. And she’d (say), ‘Come on, let’s go sit on the curb and get the cars to splash us,’” she said. “I talk about that in the song … and my memories of something beautiful with her.”

Morales will be a special guest at Texas Public Radio’s Creekside Sessions on April 13.

Her program, Daughters of the Sun, will feature favorite songs from Morales’ career. Special guests include guitarist Rosie Flores and Mariachi Campanas de America.

Get tickets for the event here.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1