Interviews

All Hail the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent is often referred to as the Queen of Bluegrass, and it’s a title well earned. Her band is the most awarded in bluegrass history, boasting over 90 accolades, and she has personally taken home huge honors such as Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association. Dolly Parton even claims to be Vincent’s “biggest fan,” collaborating with her on the single “Heartbreaker’s Alibi.”

Today (Nov. 11), Vincent releases her first CD/DVD combination Rhonda Vincent: All the Rage – Volume One, a full concert that has been in the works for over a year and a half and aims to expose more fans to the magic of their live show.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

The concert was filmed at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn. after Vincent got sick before the original date scheduled for filming last year. “Deposits were made. Everything was set up. I became ill and we could not film,” Vincent told Wide Open Country. “To find a setting to do something of this magnitude at the last second, or weeks before, was challenging. Bethel was so gracious to say, ‘Here’s our facility.’”

Vincent added, “If you haven’t seen us before, I wanted to capture this world-class band. People who come to the show always say, ‘I want something that represents what I just saw,’ and we didn’t really have anything like that.”

The new release was filmed completely live, a move Vincent was confident would resonate with fans. “People are looking for an authenticity you will find in bluegrass. Most people when they do a live DVD, they film it, and they re-record it to perfection. That’s what I felt with this group. They perform at such a high level, and I wanted to capture that to be able to say, ‘Look, this is what we do. This is not reproduced in the studio. This is exactly what you see when you come to our shows- it’s authentic and it’s real.’”

“We filmed 29 songs. There’s so many that we split it into two projects. As I was sequencing the songs, I wanted to make sure each band member is featured. Many have written the song they’re performing. There’s a song Josh Williams does called ‘Freeborn Man.’ You hope as an artist you find that one song that absolutely captures the timbre and everything about your voice, and it also captures the skill of the instrument. When Josh sings ‘Freeborn Man,’ every audience goes crazy. When people hear this, they are going to love it — even if you’ve never seen us before,” Vincent says.

Other songs on the album include “Run Mississippi,” a song Vincent originally recorded as part of the Mark Twain Words & Music Project, “I’ve Forgotten You,” a beautiful song co-written by Grammy award-winning songwriter Hillary Lindsey, and “Kentucky Borderline,” co-written by Vincent and bluegrass broadcaster Terry Herd.

Vincent hasn’t stopped moving all year, currently working on five simultaneous recording projects in addition to touring non-stop. One of the highlights of this year occurred in July, during Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. for the Legends of Bluegrass show featuring original Foggy Mountain Boys original member Mac Wiseman, Bobby Osborne, and “Mr. Mandolin” Jesse McReynolds. “It was living history,” says Vincent It’s a very busy time! I love what we do. I look forward to each and every day and all of these projects,” Vincent gushed.

“It was living history,” says Vincent It’s a very busy time! I love what we do. I look forward to each and every day and all of these projects,” Vincent gushed.

While she barely has time to take a breath, is there anyone she’s daydreaming of collaborating with in the future?

“I’ve worked with everyone from Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Martina, Faith Hill. My dream is to meet and record something or perform with James Taylor. I’m such a fan of his. In fact, we were talking about that in the studio this week. I’ve never been one to say, ‘I want to record with this person or I want to perform with this person, so let’s just go do that.’ It has to be the right project, it has to be the right song, it has to make sense. You don’t just go and say, ‘let’s go sing a song.’ Working on five projects right now, I haven’t had time to really think about that. It’s on my bucket list, and I want to find his song, and hopefully get to sing with James Taylor, because I love him!”

Rhonda Vincent: All the Rage – Volume One is available on iTunes, Amazon, RhondaVincent.com and wherever music is sold.

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All Hail the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent