New Orleans-based Gina Forsyth is an award-winning singer/songwriter, who is known for her wizardry on fiddle and guitar. With an alto as unique as it is soulful, unpretentious songs that cut straight to the heart, and a wicked sense of humor, her live performances are legend. Considered one of the best Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana (no small feat), Gina is in demand from many other musicians as a session player, and for club gigs and festivals.
Born in Florida and raised in Alabama, Gina grew up on hymns, country songs, and old time fiddle tunes. In the mid-1980s, she moved to New Orleans to study classical and jazz violin at Loyola University and quickly developed an irrevocable passion for Cajun music. Over the last 20 years, she has toured and recorded with some of Louisiana’s greatest Cajun bands, including the legendary, Bruce Daigrepont, and regularly plays his Sunday fais do do at the iconic Tipitina’s club in New Orleans.
Along the way, Gina evolved into one of the most respected folk artists in America. In 2001, cult folk label Waterbug released her debut CD, You Are Here, which was quickly heralded as “…an eclectic, beautifully played testament to choosing the right personnel and crafting a great song.” (Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, LA). She toured the US and Canada with Texans, Lisa Markley and Beth Cahill, as The Malvinas. Together the trio released two acclaimed CDs, I’m not like this (2002) and Love, Hope + Transportation (2004). In 2006, two of her songs, “Somewhere Off the Foot of This Mountain” and “St. Anthony,” were published in the venerable folk song magazine, Sing Out!
Gina has received many awards, including:
* Emerging Songwriter Winner - Napa Valley Music Festival
* New Folk Finalist - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
* People’s Choice Winner Folk - Offbeat magazine, New Orleans
* Best Singer/Songwriter - Offbeat magazine, New Orleans
On Gina’s latest CD, Promised Land (2012), the title song reached #1 on the Folk DJ list in January 2012 and the CD ended the month at #3. It also made the final voting round of 50 by the Recording Academy to determine the nominees for "Best Folk Album" for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
The CD, which features her Tipitina’s cohorts, Jim Markway and Mike Barras, includes traditional Cajun songs, original songs with the fiddle that sound centuries old, and more timeless songs that employ a variety of guitar tunings and techniques. As noted in a review in Victory Music, Promised Land has “well-written tunes, crisp production, and instrumentation framing a message of reminiscences from a performer who does it as well as it can be done.”
Gina continues to tour nationally, most recently playing with Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes for the National Park Service. She also appears on the new 2-CD compilation, Songs from the Lower Mississippi Delta (2011). Among the many clubs where you can find Gina performing solo is the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, New Orleans’ hangout for the singer/songwriter set.