Listen Up: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
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PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Patricia Vonne

Guitars & Castanets
(Bandolera Records)

By Tom Geddie

Patricia Vonne looks like one of those charismatic, underfed model-types who could use a good meal. She’s also an actress who had a small role in the recent comic-book-come-to-life, Sin City, as a character named Dallas, a.k.a. “Zorro Girl.” Vonne probably landed the part through family connections — the movie was co-directed by her brother, Robert Rodriguez. Still, she was pretty believable.
The Austin-based beauty is also a professional musician, with not one but now two c.d.’s under her 20-inch belt. Guitars & Castanets shows Vonne coming into her own as a purveyor of Tex, Mex, Tex-Mex, and pop-rock. Compared to her debut from 2003, her vocals here sound more confident; the lyrics more personal and real. She’s clearly at her best on the theatrical Spanish songs: “La Gitana de Triana,” for her sister, the gypsy dancer; “Guitarras y Castanuelas,” for Austin music icon Alejandro Escovedo; and “Fiesta Sangria,” for friendship and life.
There’s also a strong inspirational connection in other songs. In “Joe’s Gone Ridin,’ “ it’s Texas Rocker Joe Ely (complete with pool table reference). And the cool-hot “Sax Maniac” — a vessel for the c.d.’s most poetic lyrics, believe it or not — was inspired by Johnny “Sax Maniac” Reno.
Throughout, the music is strong. Under the helm of producer Carl Thiel, there’s a ton of talent on board, including Reno, Charlie Sexton (guitar), Jon Dee Graham (lap steel), Rick Del Castillo (guitar), Michael Ramos (keyboards), and about a dozen others. With such a wide range of talent behind her — and with her photo on the cover — Vonne probably won’t be going hungry any time soon.


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