While writing THE LEMON ORCHARD I listened to music that inspired me. These are songs of love, travel, connection, family, and crossing borders. Because the music meant so much to me and the characters I was creating, I wove the songs into the novel. They are songs of America, Mexico, and Ireland, by artists I have loved forever and others that were new to me.
I was introduced to some of the music by the man who inspired the character of Roberto. He comes from a small town outside Puebla, Mexico, and now he lives in East LA. The story between Roberto and Julia is passionate, and the music is the soundtrack to their love.
Because I wanted you to hear the songs, I put them together in a Spotify playlist. My own musical taste goes like this: if the song makes me feel something, goes into my heart, I'm there. I react to music with emotion--it makes me feel, remember, ache. Because this playlist says a lot about the novel, and because I wanted it to express my family's Irish roots and "Roberto's" Mexican roots, and because I wanted to include songs about immigration--ones I might not have heard before--I asked my friends Mark Lonergan and Becky Murray for suggestions.
Music and friendship are deeply linked. I've included two songs by my friend Garland Jeffreys. Becky and Mark both gave me excellent ideas--Mark, also my guitar teacher, introduced me to Tim O'Brien's music a while back--we went to see him perform at NYC's The Cutting Room back when it was in Chelsea and owned by Chris Noth. I think it's still owned by Chris Noth. Becky and her husband Ed suggested songs by Lady Gaga and Billy Walker. Those artists are on the playlist along with Bruce Springsteen, Lila Downs, Ry Cooder, Los Tigres Del Norte, Tom Morello, Alison Moorer, Juan Gabriel, The Chieftains, Lola Beltrán, Luis Miguel, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and others.
Thanks to Winnie De Moya of Viking Penguin for posting my Spotify playlist to my Pinterest The Lemon Orchard board.