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Music Review: Patricia Vonne – ‘Top of the Mountain’ Hits the Sweet Spot

Patricia Vonne will drop her new album May 25, and it’s called Top of the Mountain. Produced, mixed, and engineered by Rick Del Castillo and Michael Ramos, it features Vonne on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, castanets, and electric guitar, as well as Johnny Reno (sax), Max Baca (bajo sexton), David Grissom (guitar), Joe Reyes (guitar), Robert LaRoche (guitar), and Scott Plunkett (keyboards).

Singer, songwriter, bandleader, actress, activist, and award-winning filmmaker, Vonne’s sound on the new album blends elements of folk, flamenco, Tex-Mex, and Latin into dazzling sonic textures.

Top of the Mountain comprises a dozen tracks, beginning with “Citadel,” a Latin-flavored rock piece with potent guitars and an infectious rhythm full of country ambience. This is one of my personal favorites because of its dynamic resonance and Vonne’s strong vocals.

Other standouts on the album include “City Is Alive,” an alt-rock tune with hefty guitars and a raw essence that gets your hormones raging. The guitar licks are stellar, deep, dirty, and muscular. “Illuminaria” is an exotic-flavored new wave tune featuring Vonne’s deliciously inflected voice.

“Madre De Perla” offers a scrumptious Tex-Mex zest that really hits the sweet spot, as Vonne’s sweet, mellow voice dominates. “Tidal Wave” is a number I really like because of its heavy booming feel and tight, scintillating guitars. “Lekker Ding” rides a country boogie-woogie tune rife with energy and spellbinding, luminous guitars.

The title track exudes persuasive country/folk/rock colors, as well as wet, coruscating guitars. The driving rhythm pushes forward relentlessly, and I love the squalling effluvium of the fiddle.

Vonne has one of those “strong female voices” that music critics love to rave about. It can be gentle, tough, or thrillingly intense, depending on the tune, but it’s always a delight to listen to.

Top of the Mountain is definitely a winner, not only because of the compelling melodies and pulsing rhythms, but because of Patricia Vonne’s inimitable vocals.

Read more about Patricia Vonne on her website at patriciavonne.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.

About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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