Anderson Fair presents Wendy Colonna.
Wendy Colonna is a Louisiana girl with a blend of Cajun and Italian ancestry; a perfectly sexy combo that translates well on her latest musical offering. A young woman who has decidedly come into her own, the dark-eyed Colonna fills up her musical space with deep-down retro roots and soul flavor on her newest album, We Are One. Produced by well-known & respected musical maestro Papa Mali, Louisiana native, once reggae come funk slash rock ‘n roll musician. Colonna’s album indeed showcases an easy- going manner with an strong, throaty voice, conjuring a distinctive & rich sound that sings volumes about her roots and her commitment to her love for creating music.
In We Are One, Colonna’s soul collides with the universe and the universe sits up and pays damned close attention. The album lives up to its moniker – the musicians become one with each other, the audience, the room, the universe; this album takes off and delivers flawlessly with Colonna up front and personal.
“This album is the culmination of a lot of hard years on and off the road sticking with what I know and love best – music,” says Colonna, who admits that the life of a musician isn’t an easy one to choose, but who also can’t imagine chucking her dream. “I do this work because it speaks to me; it’s my life’s purpose, and I am crystal clear about that,” she says over an iced coffee in a funky Austin, Texas corner café blocks from the small pad where she lives with her partner and lead guitar player, Chad Pope. “I have a duty to be creative,” Colonna goes on. “I know what I’m doing has a powerful effect on people’s lives; it heals and transforms. So I just keep doing it. After all, isn’t persistence and perseverance necessary in all forms of love?”
Having grown up in Southwest Louisiana in a working class home, her parents’ eldest daughter, Colonna’s self confidence has not always come easy, even if she makes it look that way. “Life is full of hard knocks,” she realizes. “As long as I’m in touch with my roots, my family, my friends, and the divine power of the feminine, all is possible.” Indeed, Colonna’s seriously strong pipes and the sounds that she conjures with her rockin’ band, prove that age does foster wisdom and practice does, indeed, make perfect. Having begun as a teenager singing around the small, conservative city of Lake Charles, Louisiana (“I didn’t ask to be in this business when I was 19”, says Colonna, “it just happened organically.”) and showcasing her songwriting abilities, with her voice, then only secondary, Colonna learned early the power of roots music as an expression of one’s surroundings.
“I was big fan of Etta James and of course, Joni [Mitchell], but also of Mavis Staples and Aretha, Melanie, Johnette Napolitano [of Concrete Blonde] and Lucinda. Not the usual stuff a lot my peers were checking out. Those sounds and the stories the words told made an impact on me. I’m into music that tells the story of a place and its people – not just from the words in the music, but by the sounds, the instruments, and the feelings the music evokes. Stories can unfold in umpteen ways. I get it. I love that! ”
And so will the listener of Colonna’s We Are One. For example, on “Shine”, Colonna’s voice is milky and rich and sunny, but sometimes a little tortured, sad, and mournful, the way life is. A multi-award winning talent, Colonna cleanses her spirit and conjures musical inspirations most mornings in Barton Springs, and practices outdoor yoga regularly.
“I’m fortunate to be doing something that I feel so committed to,” Colonna reiterates. “Everyone needs an accessible means and a language for caring for themselves. Making music and yoga are mine.”
Like a rock in hurricane, Colonna will continue to move through the music business with the wind behind her, a force of nature that is consistent, strong and rich, like her pipes and her stories.
- Christine Cox, 2010