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Rhonda Vincent - All American Bluegrass Girl 
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

All American Bluegrass Girl is Rhonda Vincent's first studio CD since the incredible One Step Ahead which was released in April 2003. It was my first review of Vincent and I fell in love with the lush recording and the band of bluegrass greats which accompanied her on that disc. The sound was very reminiscent of Alison Krauss.

This is Vincent's first recording in her own studio, "Adventures", in Nashville. For the first time in the studio, her band, "The Rage", are the core group of musicians with many guest singers and musicians. The group includes Josh Williams/guitarist, mandolinist; Hunter Berry/fiddler; Mickey Harris/bass and Kenny Ingram/banjo. Some hot guests include Dolly Parton and Bobby Osborne on vocals. Top gun guitarists Bryan Sutton (studio ace) and Cody Kilby From Ricky Scaggs' "Kentucky Thunder". Stuart Duncan on fiddle.

Vincent's style stays the same as One Step Ahead, but the recording quality is consistently better on "One Step Ahead" (Recorded at Nashville's Sound Control by Engineer Bill Vorndick.) Both have the same style to portray, but One Step Ahead is a much warmer recording with a bigger sound while this CD presents inconsistent total sound that is a bit mid-rangey and there is distortion in many spots. Both CD's were mastered By Hank Williams of Mastermix, but you can only do the best with what you have to work with. (Engineer Mike Latterell of "Adventures") recorded and mixed this CD all at "Adventures" while Vorndick used several facilities for recording and mixing before sending it to Hank Williams for Mastering.

The strength of this disc is the songs. Vincent picked out twelve very good songs, three of which she wrote, the rest she picked from other people's material and the duet she did with Bobby Osborne was actually on an earlier album of hers

"Jesus Built A Bridge To Heaven" (Keven Grant/Glen Duncan) is one of my favorites, Sutton plays some awesome arch top lead guitar and great bass by Kevin Grant (the writer). Darrin Vincent and Dawn Sears provide some great harmonies. Kevin actually brought this song into "Adventures" studio to show to Rhonda. This song has a neat funky bounce going on.

"Prettiest Flower There" (Val Johnson) is another great Christian slow ballad. Rhonda and brother Darrin provide some great vocal harmonies. Duncan with great fiddle.

"Ashes Of Mt. Augustine" - (Vincent) This is an upbeat instrumental which sounds good, with some nice acoustic guitar by Williams and great Dobro by Randy Kohrs.

"Precious Jewel" (Roy Acuff) is sung by Harris, Vincent and Williams of the Rage. What a great three part harmony with Rhonda adding the top part. Charlie Cushman adds some great Banjo.

Another song that I really like is "God Bless The Soldier" (Vincent) which Vincent wrote after visiting Fort Hood, Texas. Real Nice ballad about the American soldier and their stories. All of the songs are good , but in my opinion not as strong as the material from One Step Ahead -"Missouri Moon", "Kentucky Borderline", "One Step Ahead of The Blues", "Caught In The Crossfire", and others.

There are lots of new bluegrass acts out like "The Cherryholmes", "The Greencards", and Melonie Cannon. Bluegrass is becoming popular in America and Americana music. Vincent is a big part of that after about twelve albums and being a guest on dozens of others. 

All American Bluegrass Girl is a very good on the strength of the songs, the trend of having distortion on CD's seems to be the thing this year, most Americana discs have clipping. This is unusual for Vincent to have a recording of this quality. 

Imprint -Rounder
Release Date - 5/23/06
 


To purchase the CD online, click on the album cover.
1. All American Bluegrass Girl 
2. Forever Ain't That Long Anymore 
3. Heartbreaker's Alibi 
4. God Bless the Soldier 
5. Rhythm of the Wheels 
6. Midnight Angel
7. Till They Came Home 
8. Don't Act 
9. Jesus Built a Bridge to Heaven 
10. Prettiest Flower There 
11. Ashes of Mt. Augustine 
12. Precious Jewel

Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace Site 
Ragin' Live - CSO Review
Written In The Stars - CSO Review
One Step Ahead - CSO Review

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