First came singer Eva Garza, who made a name for herself in the southwest, Mexico and throughout Latin America in the 1940s and 50s.

Then came singer-songwriter David Rodriguez. And his sister,  Leticia Rodriguez, carrying on the family tradition.

And now, Carrie Rodgriuez, who was reluctant to embrace the family's love for  rancheras and other Mexican music.


Carrie Rodriguez wanted to do it her own way. In English, too. With country music overtones.

On her latest album,  Lola, Carrie wanted to connect to her great-aunt, but also "to make something that spoke to people like myself."

People for whom Spanish is not their first language, "who were born in this country and identify with two different cultures."

What you hear then is a Mexican American who plays the fiddle, or as Carrie describes herself, "I'm a Tex-Mex, Gringa, fiddle player ... and I know there are other people out there like me."

The album is bilingual, with songs in Spanish and English, and sometimes even Spanglish.

These days, Carrie is proud of her family name, but that wasn't always the case. When she was about 7, she told her mom she "didn't want to be a Rodriguez in my little neighborhood."

That neigborhood was the west side of Austin. Other kids with the name Rodriguez were from the east side of town and it was those kids who, as Carrie says, "had lunch cards ... and were called ugly names."

She didn't want that. 

But, time and maturity have changed her. Now Carrie is proud to be a Rodriguez and to carry on the family name — and carry on with the family music, too.

From PRI's The World ©2016 PRI