By May 6, 2015 Read More →

Unplugged View – ROCKing the Cradle


Unplugged View

ROCKing the CradleA
view from a MAMA

By Patty Castillo Davis
Photo by Ruben Porras

My earliest memories I mean the very evocative ones, with colors, tastes and smell triggers, are so alive and they all encompass music and my
Mother. Before I was old enough to attend school I was my Mother, Jeannie Castillo’s Helper. I would stand upon a chair to reach the sink and do the dishes with her. The breeze fluttered in through the kitchen curtains while strains of the Young Rascals, Bobby Gentry and the Beatles floated out of the radio and into the backyard of our place on Van Allen Road. Me and my Mother would sing together all the time. I was four years old when she and I recorded a 45 single record, we sang a cover of “Leaving on a Jet Plane”.

My Mother’s singing and encouragement prompted me to mirror her and I KNEW I wanted to be a performer. My creativity was championed by both Dad and Mom. Guitars, a piano and lessons, notebooks and writing tools, stereo equipment and all access to any records and tapes in Dad’s collection was at my disposal, (you scratch it, you die). I honed my vocal chops by singing along with Linda Ronstadt, Karen Carpenter and Wilson Pickett at the expense of my family’s eardrums. My Mom and Dad accompanied me when I was a teenager to clubs and contests and dragged their faithful friends along for moral support. My folks allowed me to explore my dreams and fortified my efforts. When I started my own family, it felt alot like creating Art.

The parallel between Motherhood and Songwriting exists. You make great sacrifices so that the end result is your perfect composition. The difficult, beautiful work has begun. For musical Mothers, parenting is a natural place to channel creativity. I called on my improvisational skills to remedy sleepless nights and colic. My children became my Muse and enlightened my frame of reference on the world and my songs became more affective.I feel more emotionally connected to my material. Motherhood has shaped my perception. Finding balance is a challenge and the goal of everyday. I want to have my guitar and play it too. I have spent a lot of time by the light of a ladybug nightlight writing music. My girls’ vocabulary differed from their peers and included phrases like, “My Momma has a gig”, and “I get to be Mom’s plus one.”

In 2004, I went on hiatus to be with my children and passed on career opportunities. I returned in 2012 to a local scene teaming with more players than ever and the rules of engagement were very different. As my children grew more independant, my music returned to it’s prominence. I did not want to wake up in the middle of my life and wish I’d done something with my music. Christian and Maya Magdaleno are my greatest masterpieces and the final reward. And as for my Mother, on her last birthday, October 14, 2014 I was voted the Best Singer Songwriter MAMA, which I gave her as a gift, which was really a present she gave to me.

 

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