The song title “I Sang Patsy Cline (the Night Noriega Fell)” only hints at the many influences that fuel Bianca De Leon’s recordings. This soulful singer/songwriter has an obvious affection for Tex-Mex and Central American music and for the work of fellow Texans like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Jerry Jeff Walker. But it’s not surprising to learn that she has studied classical guitar—or that she decided what to do with her life after hearing Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”
This fourth CD features some fine originals plus a medley of Van Zandt’s “Nothin’” and Hank Williams’s “Ramblin’ Man.” The album title refers to a song called “Guns and Money,” but a more fitting moniker for the record might be Love, Loss & Liquor. Several of these tunes find their protagonists lamenting faded romances while seeking refuge in whiskey, drinking tequila, or eyeing stale wine or “bottles on the table.” If such songs are autobiographical, De Leon’s life hasn’t been easy: in any event, she clearly finds comfort in her music, and I suspect you will, too.