The Texicana Mamas are bringing a 'cultural menudo of sounds and flavors' to the Big Barn

By: JD Hurd II
| Published 06/22/2019

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Dosey Doe Big Barn has had many great artists stop by to perform since opening its doors in 2006. The 165-year old structure that began as a tobacco barn in Kentucky has also spent time storing livestock and even buses. Now, it is one of the premier venues in The Woodlands for food and live music. On June 28, the Big Barn will host three of Texas’ most celebrated Latina musicians, as The Texicana Mamas provide a musical experience this area has yet to see.

Much like the Big Barn, The Texicana Mamas, which consists of Patricia Vonne, Stephanie Urbina Jones, and Tish Hinojosa, has a mixture of musical backgrounds and stories that come together on stage to create what Vonne calls, a “cultural menudo of sounds and flavors celebrating our Tex-Mex, Americana, Country, Rock and Roll storytelling in song.”

All three members of Texicana Mamas hail from San Antonio, Texas, but it was in Nashville, Tennessee where the group got their start. Last September, the Bluebird Cafe was looking for a Latina lineup for a show during the Mexican Independence Weekend. The three friends got together and quickly realized something special had formed.

“It was pure magic telling our stories, sharing our Tejana culture, individual musical experiences and being from the same hometown was so impactful and inspiring,” said Vonne.

With every performance, you can hear and see each of those individual musical experiences blending effortlessly. Nashville was the starting line for Texicana Mamas, but for Stephanie Urbina Jones, Nashville was the place where she impacted the music world both as a songwriter and a performer.

Jones has written a number of hits for herself and other artists, including The Voice season 7 winner, Craig Wayne Boyd. Boyd’s “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face” was a Billboard Top 40 song and even peaked as the number 1 song in the Hot Country Songs chart. However, on stage is where Jones made history. Stephanie’s grandmother described Jones’ style as “Country music with chile peppers.” That style is influenced by Jones’ love for mariachis, an influence that began as a child. So, when Stephanie Urbina Jones made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry, “Country’s Most Famous Stage,” it’s no surprise that the iconic sounds of mariachi accompanied Jones on stage. With that performance, she became the first female artist to perform with mariachis in the stage’s 93-year history.

“Fellow musicians, award-winning artists, and the audience responded with first curiosity, followed by their hearts leaping open as these amazing musicians shared their passion and joy of mariachi in songs the audience knew and loved as ‘classic country’,” said Jones. “It took 20 years of dreaming for that moment to happen and it was humbling to experience. I truly felt honored by the standing ovation from the crowd and all the musicians, artists and industry. It was a moment I will never forget.”

Listen to any Texicana Mamas performance and you will always hear the scintillating clicking sounds of castanets, the Spanish instrument popular in Flamenco. The sound of castanets comes from the ultra-talented fingers of Patricia Vonne.

The New York Times called her the “renaissance woman of Austin, Texas.” With the list of accolades that Vonne brings to the group, that title might be an understatement. As an award-winning singer/songwriter, actress, activist, and award-winning filmmaker, Vonne is telling the truth when she says, “I believe music and the arts will save the world!”

As a three-time Austin Music Award winner, Patricia Vonne’s musical talents are well-known. However, you could argue that her talents away from the stage promote her music more than any award could. As an actress, Vonne has been seen in the films “Spy Kids” and “Sin City” as Dallas/Zorro Girl.

“Acting in films is a rewarding extension of what I do onstage because it reaches a much larger audience and introduces them to my music,” said Vonne. “With my role in Spy Kids, to my role as Dallas/Zorro Girl in Sin City, I’m able to also be a role model for young women.”

Being a role model and advocate for women is something very important to Vonne. Proceeds of her music have gone to Amnesty International and Artists United Against Human Trafficking amongst other foundations.

When Texicana Mamas formed for the first time, Vonne made a call to a friend, the eventual third member of the band, Tish Hinojosa. Hinojosa is a Latina trailblazer in the music community. Her early albums not only brought herself national attention, but she also took the culture learned from Mexican immigrant parents, blended it effortlessly with the folk, country, and pop styles she grew up around in South Texas, and spread it nationwide.

Her list of accolades is extensive. It even includes being invited by President Clinton to perform at a White House concert. Recently, Hinojosa had the special opportunity to re-record her first album, “Homeland” for its 30th anniversary. Now titled “My Homeland”, Hinojosa added a bonus track and provided behind the scenes looks at how some tracks came to be.

“It feels great to own my own work this time and to re-introduce this work to new audiences,” said Hinojosa. “Although we stayed close to the original arrangements, I was able to make a few small changes that I feel, were an improvement. One special change, in particular, was bringing my family into the studio to sing on the chorus of 'West Side Of Town' - my song about my home town and my parents.”

The Texicana Mamas are a special group. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another group of women who are so successful and influential as individuals that can also come together at a moment’s notice to create a product that is so distinctive and crowd-pleasing. This group isn’t just a band, they are music ambassadors that spread their “ culturally rich heritage through music and storytelling, and even incorporate educational programs before shows.”

On Friday, June 28, The Texicana Mamas will put on a show to remember. Don’t miss out on a night of fun that includes great food, storytelling, and cross-cultural musical fusion. As of now, the group’s favorite venue is the MCL Grand in Lewisville, Texas. So, this is an open challenge to the community to come out and support this unique group and show them why the Dosey Doe Big Barn is the premier music venue in Texas.

For tickets and more info on the dinner and the show, click here.
To learn more about Patricia Vonne, click here.
To learn more about Stephanie Urbina Jones, click here.
To learn more about Tish Hinojosa, click here.

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