Personnel: Rhonda Vincent (vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Kenny Ingram (vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo); Josh Williams & High Gear (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin); Hunter Berry (vocals, mandolin, fiddle); Michael Harris (vocals, acoustic bass); Cody Kilby (acoustic guitar); John Gardner (box).
Audio Mixer: Neal Cappellino.
Recording information: The Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis, MO.
Photographer: Andrew MacNaughton.
This pristinely recorded live album showcases bluegrass sensation Rhonda Vincent and her band, the Rage, in front of a hometown crowd at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, MO. Introduced by veteran bluegrass DJ Hank Janney -- who apparently traveled from Gettysburg, PA, just do the honors -- the band rips straight up into a spirited read of its signature tune, "Kentucky Borderline." And it just goes. With smoking versions of "Drivin' Nails in My Coffin" and "One Step Ahead of the Blues" along with Dolly Parton's "Jolene," Flatt & Scruggs' "So Happy I'll Be," Bobby Osborne's "Bluegrass Express," Jimmie Rodgers' "Muleskinner Blues," and Carl Jackson's "Homecoming," there is plenty of stomp as well as polish on the date. The center section of the gig, reserved for a number of gorgeous, multi-harmony ballads such as the original "Missouri Moon," Jackson's "Ghost of a Chance," and "I've Forgotten You," adds a beautiful dynamic and texture to the proceedings. Elsewhere, individual members of the Rage get to shine as well, such as on the previously unrecorded "Me Too" by Hunter Berry and a Josh Williams-led "Cheatin' Kind of Life," adding to the seemingly limitless reach of Vincent's band. As on her studio offerings, the vocal prowess here is simply breathtaking, and the instrumental acumen shines brightly. By this hearing, this was one memorable evening, and Vincent's fans will be delighted -- and the curious just may be astonished. ~ Thom Jurek
Dirty Linen (p.56) - "[V]enturing into bluegrass soul, gospel, cheatin' songs, and classic standards, along with instrumentals that allow the talented musicians who shared the stage with her to step into the spotlight."