Viva Bandolera - Patricia Vonne
From the striking cover portrait through every intricate guitar run and soaring melody on Viva Bandolera, singer songwriter, Patricia Vonne takes listeners on an epic journey to Southern Texas and the rich Tejano culture she was born into. The album has a sweeping cinematic quality to it which isn't at all unexpected considering that among her super-talented siblings is film maker Robert Rodriguez. "The credit for the cover art goes to Charlie Terrell," Vonne explains. "He gave me the gift of a mural and he presented it to me saying you can use it whenever you want for whatever you want. Isn't that sweet?" Once you get past Viva Bandolera's cover, the real journey begins; a hefty, Texas-sized 17 tracks of new material, reworked material and other songs culled from her previous albums. But, there's nothing cut and paste about the collection. Sonically and performance-wise it's consistent from start to finish and tells a great story in the process. "When I started writing my music I just knew it had to be bilingual because that's my heritage. I come from a large family of 10 children. Our roots in Southern Texas go back to 1767. My family was one of the original land grant owners from the King of Spain. Knowing that my ancestors come from Mexico on my dad's side and from Spain on my mother's, there was a lot to write about." Patricia Vonne captures the essence of bordertown pathos in the same way her film making brother does with his movies. Apart from crafty, hook-laden songwriting, the arrangements on Viva Bandolera are transportive, bathed in the twangy, Texas surf style guitar, nylon acoustic shredding and her favorite castanets, drawing energy and authenticity from some of Southern Texas' finest players like Rick del Castillo, Joe Reyes with their guitar fireworks and veteran drummer Dony Wynn's rock steady beat. Through it all, Vonne's voice rings proud, true and strong like her folk anti-hero label namesake, the Bandolera (or female bandit). Fiercely independent and proud, brilliantly creative and full of charm and grace, that's Patricia Vonne. Viva Bandolera!