Three time Austin Music Award winner Patricia Vonne is back with her seventh album “Top of the Mountain”, on her own Bandolera Records. The album celebrates the human spirit in the midst of adversity and the Higher Power that lights our path. The defiant stand-your-ground title track sets a declamatory tone as the rest of the album winds a sinuous path through the border radio groove of “Lil’ Lobo,” the careening rocker “Graceland Trip,” "Madre de Perla,” (a flamenco-flavored tribute to Vonne’s mother), the spaghetti western soundtrack that is “Western Blood”, and much more.
It is produced, mixed and engineered by Rick Del Castillo and Michael Ramos. The album features the multi talented Vonne on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, castanets and electric guitar as well as several special guest musicians. The list includes: Fort Worth sax virtuoso Johnny Reno, Scott Plunkett of Chris Isaak’s band on the keyboard, Grammy award winner Max Baca of Los TexManiacs on the bajo sexto, David Grissom and Grammy award winner Joe Reyes. The album features co-writes with Joe King Carrasco, Alejandro Escovedo, Willie Nile, Steven Medina Hufsteter of the Cruzados and longtime performing and songwriting partner Robert LaRoche.
Hailed as a “Renaissance woman of Austin, Texas” by the New York Times, Patricia Vonne has claimed many titles in her illustrious career: singer, songwriter, actress, activist and most recently, award winning filmmaker.
Vonne took Best Animated Short at the Madrid International Film Festival for “Huerta de San Vicente”, an homage to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The song was off of her critically acclaimed all-Spanish album “Viva Bandolera”.( Top 8 of The Huffington Post) She also took top honors for her film at the Barcelona International Film Fest & San Francisco New Concept International Film Festival.
Vonne has appeared on the big screen in Spykids, Desperado, Machete Kills, Four Rooms, and Sin City:A Dame to Kill For in which she reprised her role as Dallas/Zorro Girl; the role which has made her a cult figure among indie and fantasy film fans. Her song “Traeme Paz” was featured in the film Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Vonne continues to advocate for human rights donating proceeds of her song, “Missing Women”, to Amnesty International to help bring attention to the surge in homicides in Ciudad Juarez. She is active in the United Nations’ program Artists United Against Human Trafficking. Additionally, in Austin, she works as an advocate for school music programs through the Texas Music Project. In April 2019 she was invited to sing the National Anthem at the retirement ceremony for war hero and Pat Tillman Award recipient, Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro. "One of the greatest honors of my life." Vonne said.
"Imagine a young Chrissie Hynde fronting the Mavericks with a little help from Calexico."
"This indie goddess, an award winner in every discipline she touches, comes back from another foreign victory with album number seven, a set that finds her at her sexy, sassy brassy best yet." -Midwest Record
"Vonne’s new effort incorporates all the multi-faceted components that define her unique musical persona: rock, folk, flamenco, bilingual Tex-Mex and Latin strands that, taken together, form a rich and colorful tapestry." - Glide Magazine
“A 12-track journey, Top of The Mountain perfectly slots together – a jigsaw of femininity and independence that Vonne’s voice solidifies. Distinctively contralto, Vonne is the Tejano embodiment of fierce merited success – taking hold of the Austin music scene with her distinguishing vocals, and dead ass refusal to give it back.” – Track Rambler
"Powerhouse Tejana Rocker...she’s conjured up a rocking powerhouse recording, easily apparent by the snarly guitar licks and fierce vocals found on tracks like “City is Alive” and “Lil Lobo”... delicious... versatile...Ripe with sultry vocals, jangling guitar riffs and pounding rhythms...Top of the Mountain is a rocking, wind-in-the-hair, open road in a speeding convertible ride of a recording. Enjoy the ride." - World Music Central
"Vonne knows who she is and it's time you found out too if you don't know by now...this sounds and feel like a break out album for the whole alt.Americana genre." -Midwest Record
“Positive lyrical themes, varied musical arrangements make Vonne’s seventh album well worth hearing...regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Vonne’s musical body of work, it suffices to say that this record will generate its own share of interest from any listener. That is thanks to the tejano, country and southern rock influences in the songs’ arrangements and the lyrical content delivered throughout.” - Phil’s Picks
TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN TRACKLISTING
1. Citadel- (Vonne/LaRoche)
2. City is Alive (Vonne/LaRoche/Nile)
3. Illuminaria- (Vonne)
4. Top of the Mountain- (Vonne/LaRoche)
5. Lil’ Lobo (Little Wolf)- (Vonne/Carrasco/Del Castillo)
6. Madre de Perla (Mother of Pearl)- (Vonne)
7. Tidal Wave- (Vonne/Escovedo)
8. Graceland Trip-(Vonne)
9. Western Blood-( Vonne/Hufsteter)
10. Canción de la Boda (Wedding Song)-(Vonne)
11. Lekker Ding (Sweet Thing)- (Vonne)
12. God’s Hands- (Vonne)
"A Tex-Mex spitfire with a rock 'n' roll heart, this San Antonio native plays a border-crossing, bilingual mix of flamenco flamboyance and down-in-the-mud exuberance that's a Lone Star original."
Austin American Statesman
"With a sultry , blood red vocal style and a dramatic songwriting flair, the strikingly exotic Patricia Vonne combines south-of-the-border mariachi sizzle, southwestern mythology, Texas roots-rock and spaghetti western cinematic sweep on this compelling bilingual effort."
"Looking like a gypsy Polly Harvey and sounding like Lucinda Williams with Nick Cave's sense of doom"
"Patricia Vonne's new album 'Viva Bandolera' is beautiful, dramatic, and passionate. It's a very accurate representation of where she is as an artist." Raul Malo
"A slithering, seductive tribute to the rough riders and rabble-rousers that roam the badlands between here and Nogales, Vonne's operatic frontera folk is the stuff characters in spaghetti westerns dream of when sleeping with one eye open. Louis Fowler/Red Dirt Report (Viva Bandolera)
"She's such a passionate artist and person and all that seeps through the grooves of her new record. I think it's her best yet" (Rattle My Cage)
"Patricia Vonne, one of the great treasures of I'm not kiddin' rock till u drop American roots music, lays down some of the most righteous, low down, sexy, glorious, you're not gettin' outta here alive (and who would want to) rock 'n' roll this side of the grave on her new album. "Rattle My Cage" is her best work. Roots rock for those who want it real! 4 Stars out of 4!"
"Imagine Chris Isaak or KD Lang crooning en Español w/ gypsy guitars & castanets"
San Antonio Current
"The San Antonio native's confident, tuff gal vocals, sharp musicianship & smart lyricism don't just promise the total package, they deliver the goods from the get-go." Joe Nick Patoski
"I was not prepared for the force of this singer's new LP "Rattle My Cage" which represents everything good about Austin music." Michael Corcoran
"Vonne has absorbed just about every indigenous musical style Texas has on offer, & can summon any one in the flick of a castanet or guitar pick." Houston Chronicle
"Guitars & Castanets" should be heard driving in a red convertible, preferably running from the law or a lover, and undoubtedly on the way to Mexico. "
"Patricia Vonne's latest recording is a bilingual tour-de-force. It melds eclectic with electric and exudes an elegance seldom associated with rock. Vonne is quickly taking her place among Texas' musical treasures."
- Margaret Moser | Austin Chronicle
"I was not prepared for the force of this singer's new LP- "Rattle My Cage"- which represents everything good about Austin music." Michael Corcoran Austin American Statesman
"This Austin Chicana's lilt has a bit of the border desert in it and her down -on- drag tunage, no doubt knocks 'em dead whenever she makes it to Lubbock, and her voice is thankfully as suited for Nashville as for No Depression."
- Chuck Eddy | Village Voice, NYC
“We came expecting some raucous Tex-Mex, and left exhilarated by a Rabelaisian cocktail of the most sensual flamenco crisscrossed with a heady brand of rock’n’roll that was pure Texas,” Irish Times.
“Nothing could have prepared me for this extraordinary gig. You know how it is when you’ve seen the best gig in your life? Well, for me it’s probably still Led Zeppelin at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969. But this one came mighty close…" Maverick
"This femme fatale from the Lone Star State has a stage presence that is simply devastating. The kind that lures sailors to their doom and that sends cowboys to the looney bin." El Lokal Zurich Switzerland
“One of the best live shows I have seen in the four years I have been covering the Montreux Jazz Festival.” Dominique Schreckling- Im Press
San Antonio, Texas has always been the musical and cultural crossroads of the Lone Star State. It’s the blurry line of demarcation between Texas’ modern Anglo-centric history and its centuries-old Latino past. Music collides in San Antonio, with rock, country, Tejano, punk, Tex-Mex pop, blues and horn-driven mariachi and norteño bumping into one another like boxcars on a freight train. San Antonio native son and musical godfather Doug Sahm once sang, “You just can’t live in Texas if you don’t have a lot of soul.” That goes double for the Alamo City.
Patricia Vonne is a product of that cultural menudo, if you will. As one of ten wildly creative offspring (including her older brother, film director Robert Rodriguez) growing up in the historic Monte Vista section of San Antonio, she and her siblings were encouraged to find their own creative paths. Her father, a native of the Rio Grande Valley, came to San Antonio on a musical scholarship. Her mother, of Spanish descent, played guitar and sang Old World folksongs for her kids. On weekends, the family would attend matinee performances of classic films and MGM musicals. Vonne absorbed those influences and melded them with a passion for rock ‘n’ roll born of her first exposure to Fort Worth rocker Johnny Reno and his band, the Sax Maniacs.
“Growing up as a Tejana, I listened to the diverse music of San Antonio—country, rock, jazz, pop, conjunto and Tejano styles,” she recalled. “When I started writing my own music, which is also a hybrid mix of sound and flavors, I felt a need to preserve and honor the rich cultural heritage of my upbringing.”
Beginning in 1990, she spent a decade in New York City pursuing music and acting, career moves which went on to inform her riveting onstage persona. While in the city, she answered a want-ad for a backup singer for a local band. After building a following in the New York area, singing and playing bass with Mick & the Maelstroms, and meeting longtime musical partner Robert LaRoche, she began writing her own material and concocting her own ensemble in 1998.
New York toughened her up, she said. “It sharpened my survival instincts while also teaching me patience, tenacity and resilience.”
Vonne felt comfortable exploring her own hybrid musical territory, but not everyone got the picture. “I have a vision for my music,” she said years later. “In New York, I would sit down with these CEOs of these record companies who would say, ‘We can make you the Mexican Celine Dion.’ I love Celine Dion but I want to be Patricia Vonne."
Vonne moved back to Texas in 2001, but not back to her hometown. Rather, she relocated to Austin and quickly became a standout attraction in a city of earnest singer-songwriters, indie upstarts and quirky iconoclasts. Imagine Angelina Jolie rocking a Spaghetti Western soundtrack and you get the picture.
With her striking looks and dramatic stage persona, Vonne made an indelible impression before an audience: bilingual lyrics, flamenco dance moves and castanets that buzz like rattlesnakes one moment; down ‘n’ dirty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll the next. As one critic put it, “Vonne…can move quickly between serious and playful, sultry and steely, tough and tender.”
Vonne released her first, self-titled album on her own Bandolera Records label in 2003. Patricia Vonne set the template for her next four releases: rockabilly-tinged cowpunk laced with cinematic melodies, Tex-Mex bilingual vocals, a no-nonsense Latina sensibility with, nonetheless, an accessible softer, romantic side. Texas Monthly magazine raved, “(Vonne’s) confident, tuff gal vocals, sharp musicianship and smart lyricism don’t just promise the total package, they deliver the goods from the get-go.”
Her second album, Guitars and Castanets, followed in 2005 featuring "Traeme Paz" from the film "Once Upon a Time in Mexico". Also featuring a tip of the hat to two of her mentors: West Texas rocker Joe Ely (“Joe’s Gone Ridin’”) and Johnny Reno (“Sax Maniac”), whose rip-roaring live show originally set Vonne on her musical path.
Firebird, released in 2007, expanded on Vonne’s formula and included a rare, deeply personal statement. “Missing Women/Mujeres Desaparecidas” was dedicated to the hundreds of women who have gone missing over the years in and near Ciudad Juarez. “A bilingual tour de force” Austin American Statesman
Of 2010’s Worth It, the Austin Chronicle wrote, “Whatever you’re expecting from this new Patricia Vonne disc, the title says it all. The statuesque local Latina here rocks a tough stride in her career at a time when she knows her territory better than ever.”
Vonne’s 2013 release "Rattle My Cage " was hailed by Austin American Statesman “It represents everything good about Austin music”. Featuring co-writes with Johnny Reno (Rattle My Cage), fellow San Antonio rocker Rosie Flores (This Cat's in the Doghouse), Alejandro Escovedo (Ravage Your Heart), Doyle Bramhall ( Dark Mile) and brother Robert Rodriguez (Mexicali de Chispa) made the album one of Vonne’s most diverse and enjoyable.
Vonne has toured internationally including the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland & shared the stage with Los Lobos, Raul Malo, Chris Isaak, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Texas Tornados and others. She toured Europe for the first time as member of Tito and Tarantula ( vampire band featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film From Dusk Till Dawn).
Vonne’s 6th album “Viva Bandolera” , represents both a labor of love and a completion. Sung entirely in Spanish, and collecting tracks from her previous recordings, it is a summation of sorts of the distance Vonne has traveled on her singular path. “My fans over the years, especially in Europe, have persistently asked me when I would release an all-Spanish collection,” she said. “I felt it was very fitting to compile my songs on one disc for them. It feels like I’ve come full circle...on my own terms."