On November 11, Rhonda Vincent and her accompanying band The Rage released their newest CD and DVD project “All The Rage, Vol. One.”
The making of the project was unique, as it features 14 songs that were filmed and recorded during a live performance at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. For Vincent, the decision to stay out of the studio and instead record this newest work live was an easy one, with the singer revealing that fans would approach her after the show, wanting a hardcopy of what they just experienced.
“And they would say, ‘we want exactly what we just saw. I want that.’ So to capture that feel, I thought [recording at Bethel University] was the only way to do that … No one went into the studio to re-record anything,” Vincent says.
“[The project] is exactly the way it was sang that night and the way it was played and performed, because [the band] plays at such a high skill level I thought that’s why we can do this now … We hope that comes through on the CD and on the DVD.”
Rhonda and The Rage indeed play at a high skill level, as Vincent herself has been showered with accolades in the bluegrass community. From 2000 to 2006, the International Bluegrass Association awarded the singer seven consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year awards. She won the award again for an eighth time in 2015.
As for Rhonda and The Rage, they are collectively the most award-winning band in bluegrass music history with over 100 accolades. As Vincent says, the band is made up of not only “great musicians but great people.” Hunter Berry plays the fiddle, Brent Burke the resophonic guitar, Mickey Harris the bass, Aaron McDaris the banjo, Josh Williams the guitar and Vincent on vocals and the mandolin.
While “All The Rage, Vol. One” gives listeners an authentic look into the band’s live performance, it also has moments where it spotlights each member of the group. This collectivity inspired the name of the project.
“This [project] features each and every person, so I thought it is ‘All The Rage.’ So that’s how we ended up with the title,” she says. “[Vol. One] becomes a concentrated effort to actually have everyone on there.”
Burke and Vincent vocalize on “Girl From West Virginia;” Berry solos on the fiddle in “Wow Baby;” Harris takes lead vocals on “If We Could Just Pray” while Williams does the same on “Freeborn Man” and Aaron McDaris solos on the banjo in the appropriately titled song “All About the Banjo.”
The rest of the project features a healthy dose of Vincent and her powerful voice, which has been said to add a “contemporary flare” to the traditional style of bluegrass and which earned her The Wall Street Journal title ‘The New Queen of Bluegrass’ in 2000.
This flare is evident in vocal-centric songs like “I’ve Forgotten You,” “Missouri Moon,” “Midnight Angel,” “Muleskinner Blues” and Vincent’s favorite song “Kentucky Borderline.”
“I love them all, or we wouldn’t have recorded them, but probably a song that I wrote — it became Song of the Year [in 2004] — ‘Kentucky Borderline.’ That’s one of our favorites because it’s one of our most requested and it’s just something that’s pretty special to me,” Vincent reveals.
The album also features songs like “Is the Grass Any Bluer,” “You Don’t Love God,” “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Run Mississippi.” The project in its entirety is “fun, passionate, exciting, and authentic” says Vincent, and at the same time it seeks to appeal to a wide range listeners.
“I think we have something for everyone… There’s traditional bluegrass, a lit bit of contemporary bluegrass … And then there’s gospel music. So I think we have a very wide demographic because of that, everybody from the baby to grandma,” she says.
“All The Rage, Vol. One” is available now. For more information on the album and upcoming shows, visit Vincent’s official site.