Top of the Mountain (Bandolera Records)
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., June 22, 2018
Patricia Vonne's piercing contralto connects bolero rock, fiddle-assisted folk, sultry flamenco, and bilingual pop into a rich web on Top of the Mountain. The Austin singer's seventh album opens in the lush reverb and plucked melodies of country expanse "Citadel," but the brawny riffs to "City Is Alive" and a feral "Lil' Lobo" pair up by exchanging hot and heavy guitar and booming percussion. "Graceland Trip" ranges into brawling Memphis rockabilly, while "Canción de La Boda" and "Madre de Perla" speak to her San Antonio origins. Unlike the all-Spanish Viva Bandolera in 2015, Top of the Mountain recalls Rattle My Cage before that, Vonne's transformative voice matched to a smorgasbord of genres. Alejandro Escovedo and local producers Rick Del Castillo and Michael Ramos assist, but the floor belongs to a leading lady who distinguishes herself yet again behind a divine croon softly hypnotizing the listener on piano ballad "God's Hands."