Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Patricia Vonne

Last Saturday night I went to see Patricia Vonne with Amy over at Strange Brew.  Vonne is from San Antonio, and I still tend to associate her with that city, although she's recently been doing an awful lot of performing (and might even be living) here in Austin.
Patricia Vonne has been on the scene for a while now.  Her newest album, Rattle My Cage, was her fifth full length album, and she cites her music career as beginning while she was living in New York sometime between 1990 and 2000.
Her songs have sort of a traditional sound, but vary across a number of styles, including some barroom rock and folk, as well as some Spanish ballads and folk songs.
It's probably no coincidence that her performances often remind me of the four years that I spent in San Antonio during college.  As with many aspects of San Antonio's culture, Vonne seems to easily blend mainstream American pop culture with Mexican and Latin artistic styles.  She effortlessly switches between classic American rock and Mexican/Spanish tunes that contain elements of flamenco, folk, and mariachi.    
Vonne's stage presence is charming and warm.  She dances, sings, and plays the castanets with the energy and confidence of someone who relishes the opportunity to entertain. 
The lyrics to her songs (at least the ones in English that I can understand) are pretty straightforward.  She doesn't hide mean behind layers of cryptic symbolism or overwrought metaphor.  She's a poet, but she typically wears her heart on her shirtsleeve, pouring herself into her music.
It's kind of refreshing to watch someone who's putting some personal emotion into their music, but who also seems to understand that ultimately, for the audience, the music is mostly about entertainment, regardless of how personal the subject might be for the artist.  Vonne might be there to share a bit of herself, but first and foremost, she's there to put on a show.  She's not afraid to let you know that she wants to win you over.  She works hard at it.
I'm a fan.

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