Missouri native Rhonda Vincent has reached some unbelievable heights and breaking barriers in a male dominated world of bluegrass music. Her distinctive vocals backed by her band, The Rage, have reached the hearts of bluegrass and country music fans. Recently this Examiner spoke with Rhonda Vincent on her newest album, visiting Kentucky, and her beautiful style.
The new album, "Only Me," is a perfect blend for fans who love country and bluegrass music. One song that Rhonda Vincent wanted to make sure to have on the album was 'When the Grass Grows Over Me.' According to Vincent, "It became a natural choice for me when we recorded it. It was the day after the passing of George Jones and we were on the Grand Ole Opry. They asked everyone to sing a George Jones song. That's what kinda started this idea of making the album six country songs and six bluegrass songs. I've been on the Country Family Reunion and it became a natural choice."
Her daughters also had a hand in song selection on the album. "There's another song called 'It's Never Too Late' that my daughters wrote and recorded," Vincent noted. "It has such a powerful message that I have not been able to sing it on stage yet without choking up. I am just thrilled that we made sure that we did that song."
Her daughters have become successful in their own endeavors. What was the biggest advice Rhonda gave her daughters? "The one thing that I told them when they graduated high school is that I don't care what you do, just make sure that it is something that you love," she said. "We didn't care what they went into. Herb said for them to go into college and get a degree. The crazy thing is that Sally has a degree in sociology, but she was hired to be a vocal instructor. She has a beautiful voice and it is a natural thing for her. She loves it and it is working out for her wonderfully."
Considering all of the awards and success over the years, Rhonda remains humble, especially at home. "My husband always joked that when I come home, he keeps the woodbox empty. So when I come home, I've got to load the woodbox and do five loads of laundry. I still live in Missouri and I think keeps me humble. It seems like coming back home is like hitting reset; going back to square one. It also reminds you of where you come from. We're very proud at what we do. We work really hard throughout the year so it's kind of like a nice reward for what we do."
Being back on the road, you will see her throughout Kentucky with several shows. One show she looks forward to is the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, taped live in Lexington, Ky. at the Lyric Theatre. She is set to appear again on Feb. 3. Her favorite part of the show is, "getting the chance to collaborate with other people on the show. It's a lot of fun that you get to do something out of the normally."
On stage, fans have taken notice of Rhonda Vincent and the Rage's stage attire. It is something they take personally and make sure they are dressed professionally. Rhonda notes, "It has become part of what we do. I think we've become a crusader for the image of bluegrass. Bill Monroe dressed in a suit, as well as Flatt and Scruggs. It's just how it is perceived as hillbilly music and unsofisticated. The guys in the band always make sure they are always in suits and I'm usually in a dress or gown. It's a very rare occasion, but if it is muddy and cold we might wear jeans."
Off the stage, you can see Rhonda Vincent active on social media with Facebook and Twitter posts. She encourages fans to post photos on her page and to interact. That is something you don't see from most entertainers. And yes - those posts come from Rhonda herself.
Be sure to pick up Rhonda Vincent's latest album, "Only Me," in stores on Jan. 28th. You can catch her concert schedule and learn more by visiting www.rhondavincent.com.