On "The Long Slow Decline of Caremelita" Bianca does not disappoint her sterling reputation. Every song on The Long Slow Decline... burns with her passionate storytelling, revealing a dark, silky mixture of strength and vulnerability. With truth, depth and grace, Bianca DeLeon brings all her listeners back to her Southwest Texas home, sits them down on the porch and tells them of her experiences. Her new album gives each of us a chance to see her world through her eyes - a world full of dusty roads, shady episodes, and of course, romance.
Review by Lucky Boyd
For me, songwriters fall into a few different categories. There are the commercial writers, and we need them. There are those people who write to say 'hey, look at me, this is what happened, and I'm going to tell you about it, minute by pain-staking minute.' There are a few other categories, but Bianca DeLeon falls into one of my favorite slots. She is one of the best at taking a story, be it an afternoon happening, or someone's entire life, and putting it in a song with a huge emphasis on art. Bianca is one of the most artistic writers I know. So many writers have forgotten that 'artistic' is still a viable writing category and this is still an art. Much like one can look at a Monet several times before seeing the painter's full message, Bianca's songs are sometimes so artfully done that you might need another listen or even an explanation before you get the entire underlying story. A good song can stand on its own without any explanation, but an artistic song can stand on its own and still have a larger story that led to the composition. It is evident that the time Bianca spent around Townes Van Zandt influenced her style of laying down a song. There are times I wonder just how much Townes may have learned from Bianca as well. The two have a similar 'flavor' to some of their compositions. I've only met a handful of writers who can truly write from their soul, instead of their brain, Townes, Hayes Carll, and Bianca top the list. "LIVE: FROM HELL TO HELSINKI" was recorded in Finland, but it's Texan all the way. "The Long, Slow Decline Of Carmelita" is a sad tale of a life that just couldn't catch a break, and indeed is as sad as the story of 'Caroline' in Van Zandt's "Tecumsah Valley." "Six-Pack Of Misery" takes the traditional road of a woman scorned by an abusive partner by making good use of a Colt .45. The gun, not the malt liquor. "OUTLAWS AND LOVERS" is another example of Bianca's road-tested material, and contains a Van Zandt cover, "Waitin' Round To Die." Joe Ely appears on the disc and delivers an excellent performance on "Carlos," while Teye's flamenco guitar is breathtaking. Bottom line, I've known Bianca for years, and I've never known her to be anything other than a true Texas troubadour. I'm going out on a limb here, and say that when we've all passed on to the other side, we will be able to look down and see her name added to music's most impressive lineup, the Texas Music Hall of Fame. If you're talking about Texas music, and you don't find yourself talking about Bianca DeLeon, you're in the wrong conversation. Get the discs today, only $13.99 each!
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