Musicians Off the Record: Patricia Vonne and Robert LaLoche

Patricia Vonne represents so much more than the sum of her musical parts. As the rising star's recordings grow ever bolder, she proudly carries the mantle of pop-rock Latino role model as only she can. "I'm from San Antonio originally, born and raised, one of ten children, a Mexican-American family," states Patricia Vonne.

Vonne's music features a blood-boiling palette of rich ethnic influences, spicy rhythms and fiery lyrics sung with a sense of purpose in both English and Spanish. "I'm a very visual person, and to be able to put that into another language, I really enjoy it more now," she says.

Cultivated in a childhood filled with traditional song and old world values, Vonne's bilingual style is in equal measure a product of the education she received as a working musician in downtown Manhattan. Here's a survivor. You can literally hear it in her work. Vonne's songwriting weaves traces of Spanish folk song with roadhouse blues and rock. Upon leaving the Alamo City and the security of a talent-rich family, she arrived in New York and fortunately stumbled onto her life-long creative partner, Robert La Roche. In 2001, the two settled in Austin and began forming Vonne's unique rocker-mariachi sound. "I was wrong. I thought that would be very detrimental to our relationship--to work together so closely like that--but it's been the best thing," LaRoche says of their career together.

2003 saw the release of Vonne's self-titled debut album on Bandolera Records, a well received jewel that showed much promise. "Guitars and Castanets," her second release, is an account of her personal journey, filled with alluring vocals, aching emotion and musical forethought. Her work is made all the more enchanting by the use of castanets and high-heeled stomping percussion. LaRoche's splendid guitar turns the conventional into the extraordinary, and he especially embraces Vonne's sultry charms forcefully on her first Spanish composition, ‘Traeme Paz,' featured in the motion picture "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

On the strength of her highly regarded recordings, Vonne is on the road shedding a warm Texas light across America and Europe, rolling with acts ranging from Pat Green and Los Lobos to Cyndi Lauper. As LaRoche says, "We're having a ball and that's the key. To enjoy what you do, ya know? We're having a good time."

"We’re having a ball and that’s the key to…enjoy what you do, ya know? We’re having a good time."