(31 July 2005) Only a handful of times do we get a CD that has a style all its own. After hearing Austin, Texas native Patricia Vonne's sophomore CD, Guitars & Castanets (CoraZong (USA) CUSA 2000, 2005), she will easily be added to our short list. In addition to promoting and supporting her latest release Guitars & Castanets, Patricia can also be seen as the character Zorro Girl in the blockbuster movie Sin City.
Patricia Vonne began making waves with her hit "Traeme Paz" from the blockbuster movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico not too long ago. While the hit single may be what initially caught the attention of a worldwide audience, it will undoubtedly be this infectious sophomore album Guitars & Castanets that will cement her name with music lovers across the board.
While the album is a blend of Latin fire, Americana, and Rock & Roll soul, it maintains a strong sense of integrity and musicianship throughout. The album is as comfortable in its movie like soundscapes as it is challenging the dance floor. Patricia Vonne is part Tex-Mex spitfire, part sultry Latin lover, and wholly an artist worth checking out. We caught up with Patricia in this in-depth interview.
While this style is surely more predominate in the southern border states, it's completely fresh and unique to people from different regions. Patricia is like a bilingual female Chuck Berry with a whole lot of Tex-Mex fire in her belly. The CD touches on down and dirty rock and roll, Americana, flamenco, country, and folk, all the while keeping a consistent groove led by Vonne’s powerful no nonsense voice. If any of the handful of fans of the brilliantly underrated band Hoi Polloi are reading this--Vonne's voice is very comparable to that of Jenny Gullen.
The album opens with the almost eerie "Joe's Gone Riding." The song almost evokes feelings of a modern day cowboy movie. Picture yourself walking across the desert at high noon as tumbleweeds roll in front of you. "Rebel Bride" and "Lonesome Rider" continue Patricia’' cowgirl ways wh'le introducing a distinctly rockier sound. Although the only song the band truly throws caution to the wind on is the album’s official ending track, "Sax Maniac," with its heavy sax soloing and fifties rock flare. The all out Flamenco styling of "Guitarras Y Castanuelas" is equally as impressive musically and brings with it a healthy dose of the magic feet making you want to dance!
While this is certainly a rock and roll CD at heart, its elements like the rebel love exhibited in "Blood on The Tracks" and the slow sway of "Fiesta Sangria" that establish Patricia as a great songwriter as well performer. While every song on the CD has its own spark that will appeal to a wide variety of fans, these two songs in particular bring the CD back down to earth and ground it in an easily relatable way, making it more personal and less movie like for the listener.
Guitar & Castanets is a wonderful album with a nearly universal appeal. It's country sans the twang, it's rock and roll sans the fuzz, it's Americana and folk sans the boring delivery, it's passionate and emotional and fun.
Patricia Vonne's brilliant melding of her music and lyrics create an absolutely enthralling CD that is good well beyond the first spin.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia