RHONDA VINCENT & THE RAGE
Singer and mandolinist Rhonda Vincent, 38, has been playing bluegrass music since she was six, starting in her family's band, the Sally Mountain Show, in Kirksville, Missouri. In the mid-80s she was hired by aging Nashville mainstay Jim Ed Brown (of "Pop a Top" fame) and after six months with him she embarked on a solo career, signing with the bluegrass indie Rebel Records. In the mid-90s, she gave commercial country a shot, making a couple of decent but unremarkable mainstream albums for Giant's Nashville division. Last year she returned to her bluegrass roots with the aptly titled Back Home Again (Rounder), but she's still a little bit country: she nails the Louvin Brothers gem "Out of Hand" as well as Dolly Parton's "Jolene," singing with a sweet, soulful elasticity. Although her longtime band is called the Rage, the performances are short on flash--there's not a true barn burner on the album. Most of the songs are ballads and midtempo numbers that emphasize Vincent's leads and wonderful harmonies with her bass-playing brother, Darrin, and a drum-tight ensemble sound. She shares this bill with James King, another excellent contemporary bluegrass singer. Saturday, March 10, 7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln; 773-728-6000.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Senor McGuire.