Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mama Gina Live @ Mystikal Scents 7/13/13

Tucked into the corner of a shopping plaza off Fowler Avenue in Thonotosassa, Florida, is a small little known store named Mystikal ScentsA true diamond in the rough, it is a pagan/wiccan metaphysical retail operation that has a little bit of everything for the metaphysical fan. On this warm and muggy July evening, the strains of an Alvarez 12 string acoustic guitar poured out of the doorway of this unique shop, and was soon followed by the voice of a long-time songstress and storyteller, known as Mama Gina. Her blues-driven folk music with pagan styled lyrics weaves storied journeys, which take listeners down paths the singer has tread in her past connections with nature and the energy of the world.

Even though Mama Gina is still a fresh name to the music and pagan community, this talented lady got her start many years ago in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. After spending much time on the road singing and playing at many locales, she settled down in the land of palm trees, her roots, and has spent time with other local artists. All of this was building to a new evolution for the artist, “I stopped singing, I needed a break. I felt like I had lost my voice, not my physical voice but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t want to play in bars anymore, it wasn’t the vibe I was looking for.” During a 2009 camping trip to a festival in the Ozarks, Mama Gina had only her tent, a drum and nothing but nature around her.  With that background as inspiration, she found her voice and began singing and writing once again but on a new path. Describing her new sound,Mama Gina is quick to point out the source of her freedom with genres, “Vocally, I get to do whatever I want to with the music. If I write something that sounds bluesy I get to sing it bluesy, if I write something hip-hop influenced, I get to channel that energy, if I do something that sounds like country, I can perform it that way. I don’t get pigeonholed into any one sound anymore.”

Photo by B.L. Cooper
The many performances, tweaking and recording has produced her first full-length release, Goddess Kiss’d and this special night at Mystikal Scents was also the official CD release party.  The singer spend the better part of two hours entrancing her audience with her music, spurning laughter, love and at times even tears, as we journeyed with her down the road singing of birth, life, unity, and even a celebration of those lost to us. Switching easily from guitar to djembe to two different frame drums, the music and the voice blend went in all different ways for each song, with each as diverse and different as the last. Seemingly one with the instruments and the songs, she performs music that touches the heart. When asked about personal growth she states, “I think I’ve grown as a songwriter, I’m really staying true to the stuff that is literally falling out of me. I don’t want to sound all “frou-frou” and and say ‘oh I’m channeling it’, but the fact is that words are falling out of me and I’m not having to do very much. I’ve done a lot of work on my craft and now my craft is doing the work for me.”

And working it is, making this artist another must-see to add to any music fan’s list. Mama Gina has many upcoming shows both around Florida and around the country, make sure to check in with her on ReverbNation and Facebook for the latest show and festival dates. Grab a few free downloads while you’re there; also look for the new record on your favorite digital distribution sites, CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody and many more.

Mama Gina with Pearl of Mystikal Scents
Photo by: B.L. Cooper

Upcoming Shows:

Saturday, July 20, 2013
The Raven Faerie
Lakeland, FL

Friday, August 9, 2013
GreenSong 2013
Winchester, VA

Check out Mama Gina's "Waking Panther" from the CD release party, performed with an 18" synthetic head frame drum, using the hollow of the drum to amplify the voice. Original video by B.L. Cooper.


  1. Hi Betsy -

    What an interesting musician to have posted about! You are a great descriptive writer; your opening paragraph put me right where you were at Mystikal Scents. I have honestly never listened to pagan influenced music so hearing about this genre was enlightening and I appreciate Mama Gina's outlook on music and not "pigeon-holing" herself. It sounds like you had a really spiritual connection to her performance which is awesome. Good for you for spreading the word about this musician's music!

    Jessica Pickett