Patricia Vonne – Top of the Mountain (Bandolera Records, 2018)
Patricia Vonne is an actress, filmmaker, activist, bandleader, musician, singer and songwriter. So, it comes as no surprise 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” on her seventh full-length album Top of the Mountain, set for release on May 25th on the Bandolera Records label. With recordings like Viva Bandolera, Worth It, Rattle My Cage and Firebird to credit, Ms. Vonne continues sharpen her vocals and song writing skill to claw deep and captures listeners with her own brand of tejano folk/rock sound on Top of the Mountain.
Ripe with sultry vocals, jangling guitar riffs and pounding rhythms, Top of the Mountain opens with the edgy “Citadel” before giving way to the speeding down the open road sound of “City Is Alive” with the aid of Robert LaRoche on electric guitar, Scott Garber on bass and Héctor Muñoz on drums.
Top of the Mountain proves versatile as listeners get the goods with Spanish lyric laced “Iluminaria,” the growly guitar of “Lil Lobo” and the catchy Latin flavored “Madre De Perla.” The Southwest sound prevails on title track “Top of the Mountain” edged with Ms. Vonne’s vocals and acoustic guitar, Mr. LaRoche on acoustic and electric guitar, Mr. Garber on bass, Dony Wynn on drums and David Perales on violin.
Equally delicious are tracks like sultry “Tidal Wave,” the lonely landscape sound of instrumental “Western Blood” and sweetly worked “Cancion de la Boda.” Ms. Vonne and company wrap things with the kicking rocking “Lekker Ding” with the help of guitarist Joe Reyes, upright bassist Harmen De Bresser and drummer Jan Pohl and the vocal and piano duet “God’s Hands” with Ms. Vonne’s soaring vocals against piano by Carl Thiel.
“I am very proud of this new work,” Ms Vonne says of this recording. “Top of the Mountain celebrates the defiant human spirit in the midst of adversity and the Higher Power that lights our path.”
Top of the Mountain is a rocking, wind-in-the-hair, open road in a speeding convertible ride of a recording. Enjoy the ride.
Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.