Oct 25, 2013 - 7:30 pm
Rhonda Vincent and The Rage
Rhonda Vincent and The Rage – Friday October 25, 7:30 PM
Reserved: Adults $35 advance, $40 day of show; Students $25
Purchase advance tickets to both October bluegrass events through the box office and get a $10 discount! Adults $60 for two concerts and students $40.
Crowned as “the New Queen of Bluegrass” by the Wall Street Journal, Rhonda Vincent is the most decorated musician in the genre, with a staggering seven consecutive IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards. Vincent’s music draws deeply from the haunting mountain soul of Bill Monroe-styled bluegrass, while incorporating a modern feel that make her songs both classic and contemporary.
Among the most complete and accomplished artists of her generation, Vincent was born into a performing family, and from an early age dedicated herself to understanding and excelling at every element of her craft. She is quick to point out that she is not infallible; in fact, her willingness to take chances and then diligently assess the results afterwards has insured her continuing artistic and professional growth.
“With every album that I make, I learn something. Sometimes it’s something I could or should be doing; sometimes it’s something not to do. I’ve done this all of my life, and I’ve come to realize that if the experience is not pleasant, you need to find something you can take away from it...”
She applied those lessons to Taken, her first album on her own Upper Management imprint, recorded in 2010. Special guests on the album include Dolly Parton, Richard Marx, and Little Roy Lewis and affirm Vincent’s wide-ranging vision. One of the defining aspects of bluegrass – and a prominent thread running through Taken – is that it is, first and foremost, a communal music.
While famously self-reliant, Vincent is also proud to acknowledge and incorporate the contributions of the Rage, her longtime backing band, which consists of Hunter Berry (fiddle), Mickey Harris (bass), Ben Helson (guitar), and Aaron McDaris (banjo, guitar). Bucking the trend of recording with overly-familiar session musicians, then taking to the road with a different group of players, Vincent not only uses the Rage throughout Taken – she credits them as her co-producers, giving each member the opportunity to contribute to the final product.
“It’s a collective venture,” she says with pride. “Everyone brings something. I’m open to listening to them and asking, ‘What do you hear on this?’ They are free to use their imagination. It’s so nice to let everyone individually critique their own work. We’re coming together for a common goal...”
Rhonda Vincent has earned and benefited from a lifetime’s worth of experience, gathered in a remarkably short time. The fifth generation of musicians in her family, Vincent was quite literally born into the business. Her parents Johnny and Carolyn helmed the popular bluegrass outfit the Sally Mountain show, with whom Rhonda made her stage debut at age five, singing and tapping a snare drum. She began playing mandolin onstage at age eight, and quickly mastered an array of stringed instruments, from guitar to fiddle.
As she grew as a vocalist and musician, she augmented her love of traditional bluegrass with a growing appreciation for such contemporary mavericks as the New Grass Revival and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. She made the transition from being a member of the Sally Mountain Show to a being a solo artist, cutting her first solo album in 1986.
After a series of well-received solo recordings for venerable bluegrass label Rebel Records, Vincent signed to Giant Records for a pair of major-label country projects – an invaluable experience that greatly furthered her understanding of the music business. Her triumphant return to bluegrass began with her 1999 signing to Rounder Records, and continued through a series of acclaimed releases which grew her audience exponentially and made her the recipient of vast critical acclaim, commercial success, radio airplay (with several long-term, chart-topping appearances on the Bluegrass Unlimited survey), and heightened visibility in the media, including a top-five video on CMT for “You Can’t Take It With You When You Go.”
Her eight Rounder albums established her as an inventive, intuitively ingenious recording artist, blending the very best of the classic and modern. With over seventy awards to their name, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage are the most celebrated band in bluegrass, with honors including a coveted Entertainer of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and a staggering seven consecutive IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards.
In 2001, Vincent signed a high-profile endorsement contract with Martha White baking products, the company who first sponsored bluegrass icons Flatt and Scruggs in 1953. Like Flatt and Scruggs before her, Vincent now rolls into every show on the Martha White Bluegrass Express tour bus she’s even composed a new Martha White theme song. The Martha White Express will bring her to Chandler where we anticipate a terrific show with this accomplished artist and her band The Rage.
Sponsored by Gifford Medical Center.
Creative Cosmos, Marie LaPré Grabon
Creative Cosmos June 20 through September 7
Artists talk August 8th 4:30 pm, reception August 8th 6-8:30 pm