‘My Favorite Holiday’ Will Be A Favorite For Any Holiday Music Fan

Courtesy: Bandolera Records

Singer-songwriter Patricia Vonne will add her name to this year’s field of new holiday music presentations Friday when she releases her new record, My Favorite Holiday.  The 11-song presentation holds its own well against so many of the other records released during this time of year in part because of its songs, which will be discussed shortly.  While the mostly original works featured in this record do a lot to make the presentation appealing, there is one slight problem in the lack of English translations for the Spanish-language songs.  That is not enough to doom the record, though.  It is just a minor inconvenience.  This will be discussed more a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later, as it brings everything together.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, My Favorite Holiday will prove a favorite of any holiday music fan even with its one minor shortfall.

Patricia Vonne’s new forthcoming holiday music collection, My Favorite Holiday is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new records within said genre.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured songs.  Spanning approximately 33 minutes, the 11 songs that are featured in this record are mostly originals.  Only one of those songs – ‘Carol of the Bells’ – is a cover.  All of the others are originals.  The songs’ lyrical themes are all holiday and Christmas related, just varied from one to the next in their general topic related to those central themes.  Even more of interest here is that from one to the next, the songs’ arrangements also change so much, offering audiences plenty of variety.  The album opens with a nice, swinging tune in ‘Santa’s on His Way.’  The light time keeping and guitar gives the arrangement here a fun sound and feel akin to those of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ in so many of its covers.  From there, Vonne changes things up and pulls back in the more subdued ‘Nochebuena.’  The song’s vocals are sung entirely in Spanish.  The lack of translated lyrics anywhere in or on the packaging becomes an issue here and at other points, but that will be discussed a little later.  As the album progresses into its third entry, ‘Alone on Christmas Day,’  audiences get a sense of works from Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks here what with the sound of Vonne’s vocals and the sound and stylistic approach taken to the instrumentation. As if all of that is not, Vonne goes full on with her Hispanic roots in ‘Las Posadas.’  The changes don’t stop here, either.  ‘Christmas Without You’ conjures thoughts of something somber in its title, but instead, audiences get such a great, bluesy/jazz piece here.  It’s yet more change in the arrangements that shows the noted diversity in the record’s body.  The changes continue on from here to the record’s end in its second half, offering up hints of rockabilly, blues rock, and even some Shakira similarity, too.  Simply put, the musical arrangements featured in this record and their companion lyrical content make for plenty of reason for audiences to take in the collection.  For all that the record’s overall content does to make it engaging and entertaining, it does come with one minor shortfall.  That shortfall is the lack of English translations for the Spanish language songs.

There is a handful of songs featured in this record whose lyrics are sung by Vonne entirely in Spanish.  Now, given, the songs that make up the record’s body are all holiday and Christmas-themed.  So even without those lyrics, audiences can still get an idea of those songs’ themes.  Regardless, not having the lyrics does still detract from its presentation, if only a little bit for aesthetics.  To that end, the lack of English translations for the Spanish language songs does detract from the record’s presentation, but is not enough to make the record a failure by any means.  It is just something that would have been nice to have had as part of the whole.  Keeping that in mind, there is one more item to examine here.  That item being the record’s sequencing.

From beginning to end, the sequencing of My Favorite Holiday ensures the record’s energy remains stable from one song to the next.  The album opens on a mid-tempo note and closes on an even higher-energy one.  Along the way, the energy rises and falls in all of the right places from one to the next.  It does this as the musical styles and sounds change from song to song, too, adding to the record’s ensured engagement and entertainment even more.  This all shows that great lengths were taken to make sure the sequencing paid tribute to every one of the record’s songs and to the audiences who will hear the record.  To that end, the sequencing does just as much to make this record enjoyable as its content.  Together, the content and its sequencing makes it a work that will be a favorite of any holiday music fan.

Patricia Vonne’s forthcoming holiday music collection, My Favorite Holiday, is a pleasant addition to this year’s field of music in said genre.  Its appeal comes in large part through its songs.  The songs are, save for one, all originals.  That in itself is reason enough to take in the record.  The themes are familiar while the arrangements that accompany them are so diverse throughout.  All of that taken into consideration, the collection’s content forms a strong foundation for the record.  While the content is a clear plus for the collection, the lack of English translations for the Spanish language songs detracts from that appeal.  As already noted, the songs’ themes are all familiar, being all holiday and Christmas related works.  So to that end, that shortfall is not too bad.  It just would have been nice to have had it as part of the presentation.  In other words, it is not enough to make the record a failure by any means.  The content’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures that things stay interesting for audiences both in terms of the collection’s energy and its changing sounds and styles.  It brings everything together and completes the record’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the set’s content, that whole makes the record overall a positive new addition to this year’s field of holiday music releases.

My Favorite Holiday is scheduled for release Friday through Bandolera Records.  More information on the record is available along with all of Patricia Vonne’s latest news at:

Website: https://patriciavonne.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaVonneMusic 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/patriciavonne

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Willie Nelson Is First Place This Year With “Last Man Standing”

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

Country music is big business nowadays.  One need only look at shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent to see that.  Also, look at the ratings for the Country Music awards shows that air on television every year, as well as the overall record sales and the glut of country music stations airing the past, present and future of the genre nationwide.

Keeping in mind the popularity (and ongoing success) of said genre, it is only fitting for the genre to get its own list of the year’s top new albums.  Phil’s Picks has compiled its own list of those albums, and it — like the noted radio stations — features a who’s who of country music’s past, present and future.

Topping this year’s list is Willie Nelson’s new album Last Man Standing.  The “Red-Headed Stranger” is in fine form in this latest offering, contemplating mortality, friends lost along life’s long road and some other, deeper topics.  Musically speaking, Last Man Standing is just good, old-fashioned country; everything that country music purists enjoy.

Second on this year’s list is fellow country musician John Prine and his new album The Tree of Forgiveness.  The soul in his lyrical themes and his performance make this song so powerful.  It is an album that every country music purist needs to hear.

Taking the third spot in this year’s list is Shooter Jennings, Waylon’s boy.  Shooter is everything that audiences have come to expect from him over the course of his career.  Yet again, listeners get more growth both musically and lyrically from the outlaw country musician that continues to place Jennings in his very own place separate from his contemporaries.  Again, this is another must for those who want to avoid all of the pop country that currently pollutes the country music scene today.

Moving on, the rest of this year’s list features some unexpected names and some more familiar names mixed in for good measure.  As always, the list features 15 total names and titles.  The top 10 are the best, and the next five are honorable mention titles.

Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s PIcks 2018 top 10 New Country Music Albums list.


  1. Willie Nelson — Last Man Standing
  2. John Prine — The Tree of Forgiveness
  3. Shooter Jennings — Shooter
  4. Old Crow Medicine Show — Volunteer
  5. Jason Charles Miller — In The Wasteland
  6. David Michael George — 1,000 Yard Stare
  7. Eric Church — Desperate Man
  8. Pistol Annies — Interstate Gospel
  9. Kenny Chesney — Songs for the Saints
  10. Brothers Osborne — Port Saint Joe
  11. DeVotchka — This Night Falls Forever
  12. Dierks Bentley — The Mountain
  13. Devin Dawson — Dark Horse
  14. Patricia Vonne — Top of the Mountain
  15. Sugarland — Bigger

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Positive Lyrical Themes, Varied Musical Arrangements Make Vonne’s Seventh Album Well Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Bandolero Records

Multi-talented performer Patricia Vonne is set to release her latest full-length studio recording later this month.  Top of the Mountain, Vonne’s seventh full-length studio recording, is scheduled to be released May 25 via Bandolero Records.  Regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Vonne’s musical body of work, it suffices to say that this record will generate its own share of interest from any listener.  That is thanks to the tejano, country and southern rock influences in the songs’ arrangements and the lyrical content delivered throughout.  The joining of those elements makes the album in whole worth at least one listen.

Patricia Vonne’s latest full-length studio recording Top of the Mountain is an interesting new effort from the veteran musician/actress.  As noted, that is due to the combination of the various musical influences exhibited throughout the album and its lyrical content.  ‘Citadel,’ the album’s second entry is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  The clearly southern rock influenced arrangement lends itself to comparisons to compositions from the likes of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Pat Benatar and other similar classic female rockers.  It’s a driving rhythm that easily works itself into listeners’ minds and sticks there.  The song’s lyrical content creates its own interest as Vonne sings, “Come on baby/Let’s ride the streak of lightning/Blaze that trail/Move the citadel/It’s a long hard road/Just to get to heaven…no paint by number game/This world is changing/Hands are tied/I’ve seen hatred lead the blind/Out of darkness comes a light/No more anger/No more lies/Citadel.”  This lead verse is interesting because of the hope presented here.  That hope is hinted in the verse’s end as Vonne sings of light coming from darkness and no more lies and anger.  That light is a positive driving force that helps to end those lies and hatred.  From here, Vonne goes on to sing about looking forward instead of back to the past and of listening to one’s heart.  It is a positive message that any listener will appreciate.  When this message is set alongside the bittersweet sound of the song’s arrangement, it becomes even more powerful.  When the two elements are joined, they make clear why this song is just one example of why Vonne’s new album is an interesting new offering from the veteran performer.  It is just one of the entries that shows what make the album interesting.  ‘Cancion De La Boda’ is another example of why this record is worth the listen.

‘Cancion De La Boda’ (translated roughly to ‘Wedding Song’ in English) is sung entirely in Spanish.  Not having a lyrics sheet to reference with this review, and not speaking or writing English very well, it is difficult to know precisely what Vonne is singing here.  Though, there is a seeming mention more than once of the phrase besame, which translates roughly to English as meaning “kiss me.”  Keeping that in mind with the rest of the song, it can be inferred that the song’s subject is singing quite happily to a certain love interest of his/her love for that other person.  The light, flowing Tejano style arrangement presented here, complete with accordion, makes this song another strong entry that any listener will enjoy regardless of comprehension of Spanish.  Vonne’s happy vocal delivery and equally happy arrangement makes clear that this is just such a happy work that serves even more to show why Top of the Mountain is another offering from Vonne that is worth at least one listen. It still is not the last of the album’s entries that serves to support that statement.  ‘Lekker Ding’ is yet another example of what makes this record worth hearing at least once.

‘Lekker Ding’ stands out on this record in part due to its arrangement.  The arrangement in question is one that will put a smile on the face of any blues-based country music fan and even that of any old school country purist.  Vonne has tapped into something special here, with the song’s piano line, guitar twang and even here own happy vocal delivery.  What’s more, that arrangement, when joined with Vonne’s own vocal delivery, conjures thoughts of Shania Twain.  The same can be said of the song’s lyrical content, which interestingly could also be likened to Bonnie Raitt’s take on Stevie Ray Vaughn’s ‘Sweet Little Thing.’  Vonne sings here, “He’s my boytoy lover and major crush/I love my baby cause he gives me a rush/He’s as sweet as sugar can be/He’s got my heart lined up by a string/He’s my sweet thing/tames my mood swing/He’s my lekker ding.”  From here, she goes on to compare her man to beef, a well-aged wine and much more against the song’s light, SRV/Shania Twain style arrangement, easily putting a smile on any woman’s face.  At the same time, that arrangement is just as certain to put a smile on the faces of any man and woman.  It is just a fun song all the way around that is certain to be a fan favorite both in record and live.  In other words it is easily one of the album’s highest points, showing once more why the album in whole is well worth hearing even if only once.  It most certainly is not the last of the album’s entries that serves to support that statement, either.  The almost ZZ Top/George Thoroughgood style arrangement of ‘City Is Alive’ and its equally fun lyrical content that seems to center on the fun of being in the big city is another song that audiences are certain to enjoy.  ‘Illuminaria,’ stands out because Vonne’s vocal style easily could be likened to that of the one and only Shakira.  At the same time, there are moments that also lend themselves to comparisons to Paula Cole.  This is all just this critic’s interpretation of course.  The album’s title track is another country/folk hybrid that fans of that genre are sure to enjoy.  It’s uplifting lyrical content, which seems to center on a people not giving up on fighting for what’s right adds even more enjoyment to its whole.  ‘Graceland Trip’ obviously lends itself to thoughts of the King himself, one Elvis Presley.  This applies both musically and lyrically.  It is an upbeat arrangement that is certain to entertain audiences of all ages in its own right.  It’s just one more way in which Top of the Mountain proves itself worth hearing.  When joined with all of the other noted works – and even those few not raised here – the whole of the songs shows without doubt that Top of the Mountain will most certainly help make Vonne’s journey to the top that much easier.

Patricia Vonne’s new full-length studio recording Top of the Mountain is a work that no doubt, will most certainly help make her journey to the top of the music industry mountain a little bit easier.  That is proven from start to end thanks to the variety of arrangements and lyrical topics tackled throughout.  From the light rock vibes of ‘Citadel,’ the album’s opener and its thought-provoking lyrical theme that seems to send a message of not giving up in life, to the far more light-hearted and celebratory ‘Cancion De La Boda’ to the equally musically and lyrically upbeat ‘Lekker Ding’ – which clearly lifts from Shania Twain and Stevie Ray Vaughn – and beyond, this record offers plenty for listeners to appreciate.  That includes the driving rocker that is ‘City Alive,’ the Paula Cole-esque ballad that is ‘Illuminaria’ and the clear tribute to Elvis Presley in ‘Graceland Trip.’  Between all of these songs, and those not more directly discussed here, the whole of the 11-song, 34-minute record proves to be a presentation that is certain to help make Vonne’s climb to the top of the music industry mount that much easier.  Top of the Mountain will be available May 25 via Bandolero Records.  More information on Top of the Mountain is available online now along with all of Patricia Vonne’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://patriciavonne.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PatriciaVonneMusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/patriciavonne




To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.