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September 27, 2012

23rd Annual World Chicken Festival- Rhonda Vincent at the ‘Top of her Game’

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — One of the most acclaimed and popular figures on today’s bluegrass scene, Rhonda Vincent shows no signs of slowing down and taking it easy. It’s simply not her nature. Relentlessly pushing forward,

Vincent has built a remarkable career based on equal measures of pure, natural talent and tireless dedication.

Bluegrass vocalist and fiddler Rhonda Vincent began her professional music career at the age of five, playing drums with her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show.

She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at 10, performing with the family band at festivals on weekends.

After appearing on TNN’s nationally televised You Can Be a Star program in her mid-twenties, Vincent struck out on her own, singing with the Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown, eventually leading to a deal with Rebel Records.

Her work with Brown and her Rebel recordings caught the attention of Giant Nashville’s president, James Stroud, who signed Vincent to record two contemporary country albums.

In the 1990s, Vincent signed to Giant Records in Nashville, hoping for crossover success in the country market.

After her time at Giant, she moved to Rounder Records, and demonstrated her passion for the traditional music she grew up with, on Back Home Again.

A car accident in December 1999 kept her from a planned trip to Nashville for auditions, so she hired her band (unusually named the Rage) through the Internet.

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage have been gaining popularity at bluegrass festivals since their formation, playing hard-driving, high-energy contemporary bluegrass music.

In 2002 the bluegrass community welcomed her back with Female Vocalist of the Year honors at that year’s International Bluegrass Music Association awards - her first of an unprecedented six  consecutive wins in that category.

 Her 2001 album The Storm Still Rages was nominated for seven International Bluegrass Music Association awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year, while fiddle player Michael Cleveland and banjo player Tom Adams earned nominations in their respective instrumental categories. A three-year unbroken string of IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards led to the 2003 release of One Step Ahead, another tour, and another well-deserved showering of critical praise.

Recorded in front of a hometown crowd in St. Louis, Ragin’ Live arrived in 2005, followed by All American Bluegrass Girl in 2006, Good Thing Going in 2008, and Destination Life in 2009. After parting ways with longtime label Rounder Records, Vincent released Taken in 2010, and followed it with 2011’s Your Money and My Good Looks, a duets album with Gene Watson. Released in 2012, Sunday Mornin’ Singin’: Live! was a gospel-themed album and DVD recorded at the 100-year-old Greentop United Methodist Church in Greentop, Missouri, where Vincent first began singing in public as a child.

Vincent will perform on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8:30 p.m. at the Broad Street Stage of Stars.

 

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