Catching Up with Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent
Born with music in her blood, Vincent’s childhood spent performing with the family’s band, The Sally Mountain Show, laid the groundwork for her incredible career that has spanned over four decades, and the bluegrass icon she has become.
I recently spoke with the Queen of Bluegrass about her most new project Live at the Ryman: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage with Bluegrass Legends, advice for upcoming and coming musicians and much more.
Thank you for chatting with Music Update Central! You just released your new live album, Live at the Ryman. What was it like making that album? Live at the Ryman was an unexpected project. It was originally a very special performance at the Ryman for their Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, featuring bluegrass legends Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Sonny Osborne, and Mac Wiseman. As I shared the details about the performance with Grand Ole Opry star Jeanne Pruett, she urged me to film the evening. She said it was of historical importance. It is by far the most extensive and expensive project I’ve ever created. I am so glad we did. It’s everything I dreamed it would be, and so much more.
You were joined by many legends including Sonny & Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynold, plus many others. What was it like working with them? The actual evening of performances was filled with anxious moments of making sure every details was covered; from the videographers, performers, musicians, friends, family, and guests. It was during the collaboration with Bobby & Sonny, The Osborne Brothers, that I nearly broke down, just realizing how special and amazing it was to be singing with the two people that influenced my and my family’s music more than anyone else. My favorite element of this entire venture, is the friendships that I now have, and a bond with all of these bluegrass legends. I have listened to their music all of my life, performed at the same shows, and even have conversations; but working on a project like this, and sharing a common goal has nurtured an even deeper friendship than I ever dreamed. It always amazes me each time I get a phone call from one of them, and hear their signature voice speaking through the phone. Those are moments I cherish, and this project is the dream of a lifetime.
What advice would you give to other artists looking to pursue a musical career? I would advise anyone who wants to pursue a career in music, to first of all perfect your craft. Take every opportunity to perform, jam with others. Seek out opportunities to play or sing within your community, at bluegrass festivals, and when you are ready, seek out the direction you want to go. Also, be sure you can balance a checkbook, and make a financial budget. A music career is so much more than just playing or singing. It’s managing people if you have your own band, it’s hiring the right musicians within your budget. There are many aspects of business that will serve you well, as you advance in whatever career you choose.
What can fans expect in the future?
We will continue to tour and play the music we love; write new music, new recordings; and just as this project came about; we’ll be ready for the next exciting opportunity that comes our way, and always thinking of new ideas to share our music.