attention, Texas," announces Rockzilla World. "The land that
gave birth to legends as disparate as Townes [Van Zandt] and Stevie Ray
has birthed what may turn out to be another." Patricia Vonne is a
woman of many worlds, a fact reflected within the richness and breadth
of her music. A native of San Antonio, she developed her multicultural
ranchera rock'n'roll while living in New York City before bringing it
all back home to Texas.
And quite naturally, notes the Dallas Morning News, "there's no pigeonholing"
her "alluring" debut album. With a voice hailed by Texas Music
magazine as "strong, lush, supple and endlessly listenable,"
Vonne blends her spirited Tex-Mex musical roots with splashes of rock,
country and blues as well as the corridas and rancheras of her Mexican
Vonne features a dozen bold and confident originals that run the gamut
from slow-burn ballads like the Spanish "Soledad" to full-tilt,
honky-tonk-ready rockers like "Mudpies and Gasoline". Her assertive
roots rock with pop accents on "Won't Fade Away," "Shine
A Light" and "Devotion" offer songs that seductively explore
the complexities of modern love. The glowing coals of her potent balladry
make feelings of personal longing ("Can You Hear Me") and spiritual
hunger ("Morning After") tangibly emotive.
Vonne's poignant tribute in spanish to her grandmother on "Severina"
compliments the vibrant Southwestern outlaw spirit that shines on her
tributes to Native American ghost dancers ("Dance In The Circle")
, female bandits ("Bandolera") and her epic tale, "El Cruzado."
Vonne is able to assert her vibrant personality within a diversity of
musical and thematic modes offering "something for everyone"
thanks to a lifelong immersion within a universe of music. One of 10 offspring
of a drummer father of Mexican descent and a singing and guitar playing
Spanish mother, she grew up in a household where "music was always
a part of our lives." Her mother would quell the brood and instill
them with a harmonic sense by leading them in Spanish folk songs from
an early age, while also treating them to afternoons at the cinema enjoying
MGM and Broadway musicals.
By her early teens, Vonne was also enjoying musical input from the various
sounds and styles found within her siblings' record collections. But it
was artists with a particularly Texan mix such as Lone Star heroes Stevie
Ray Vaughan and Joe Ely that captured her imagination. After attending
her first concert by Chris Isaak sideman Johnny Reno and his Sax Maniacs,
Vonne was captured by the allure of performing onstage. Then when one
of her brothers brought home an album by Chicano new wave rockers The
Cruzados, she discovered a modern style that reflected her identity. "
They sang in English and Spanish, which made us proud of our heritage,"
Moving to New York City to pursue her creative ambitions, Vonne landed
a gig singing and then also playing bass in Mick & The Maelstroms,
a hard-working pop-rock band on the Big Apple club circuit. By 1996, she
had the confidence in her abilities to start penning songs that reflected
her own musical and cultural experiences, often collaborating with her
then boyfriend and now husband, Robert LaRoche from the Virgin recording
act The Sighs. Hooking up with lead guitarist Kirk Brewster, a Texas transplant
from the legendary Dallas band The Werewolves, Vonne formed a band that
could deliver her Lone Star style with New York City intensity.
After playing the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin in 1999,
Vonne "knew I had to bring the music back home." Since settling
in Austin the following year, she has rapidly become a popular Texas attraction
thanks to what The Bulletin calls "a refreshing approach to the increasingly
arid Texas music genre." Since forming her own Bandolera Records
and releasing her first album to rave reviews, Vonne has forged a statewide
performing circuit while also opening shows for Los Lobos, Joe Ely, Alejandro
Escovedo, Raul Malo, Pat Green and Charlie Robison. Matching the passion
of her music with flamenco dance stage moves and snapping castanets, she
can "deliver the goods from the get-go" notes Texas Monthly
writer and editor Joe Nick Patoski.
Vonne has also earned the admiration of her peers, joining her inspiration
Tito Larriva of The Cruzados - who she pays tribute to with her song "El
Cruzado" - for an eight week European tour with his band Tito and
Tarantula playing guitar, mandolin, keyboards, castanets, and backing
vocals. Her music will also be featured in the upcoming film "Once
Upon a Time In Mexico," written and directed by her brother Robert
Rodriguez ( who also co-wrote a song on the album and directed the bonus
video for "Won't Fade Away" included on the CD.)
With her music now taking root in its natural Texas soil, Vonne wants
"to grow it organically." And its blossoming already augurs
well for the future. Indeed, one listen to Patricia Vonne, hailed by the
Austin Chronicle's Margaret Moser as "a bilingual tour-de-force that
melds eclectic with electric and exudes an elegance seldom associated
with rock" -- and it's clear she's caught up to her destiny with