Patricia Vonne has absorbed just about every indigenous musical style Texas has on offer, and can summon any one in the flick of a castanet or guitar pick. She may have acting experience — Vonne's brother is Grind House and Desperado director Robert Rodriguez, who cast her in Sin City and Spy Kids — but she's not acting on Firebird. Picking up where 2005's Guitars and Castanets left off, her third LP mingles Vonne's Latin roots with her rockabilly soul. "Hot Rod Heart," cowritten with native Texan and former Chris Isaak sax maniac Johnny Reno, ably follows G&C's dusty Joe Ely tribute "Joe's Gone Ridin'," as "Jett Rink" canters around the set of her favorite movie, Giant. "Torera" is Shakira-sultry — Vonne has an affinity for lady bullfighters, as well she should — while she turns brassy roots-rocker à la Maria McKee for "Dutch Cigarette," and "Carolina" as close as she's ever come to country. Vonne's riskiest move may be bookending Firebird with "Missing Women/Mujeres Desaparecidas," her tribute to the nearly 500 women missing near Juarez, Mexico since 1993. Both English and Spanish versions are sung in steely Pat Benatar tones, but here love is no battlefield. It's a mass grave.
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