The Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent reflects on past projects and moments that have made her career. Just after her induction as a member of The Grand Ole Opry and before her newest record ‘Music Is What I See’ releases on May, 28th. She sits screen to screen with Brandon to talk about trailblazers, how timing has been a factor through her life, and risks taken for the sake of lessons learned.
The Queen of Bluegrass is a title taken seriously in the eyes of Rhonda Vincent. It’s apparent throughout her conversation with host Brandon Harrington as she reflects on pivotal moments throughout her life and the history of the genre itself. Early in conversation she sites Donna Stoneman as a key figure, “wearing go-go boots, and playing the fire out of a mandolin…she was a trail-blazer!” Vincent also reflects on stories about Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and Jim Ed Brown. Without her father though providing the opportunities for inspiration throughout her early life, the timing could have looked different for her.
The Vincent family name could be synonymous with bluegrass now, but originally for 5 generations, her family entertained themselves and their community with music in the little Ozark Mountain town of Greentop. Rhonda shares that after an unfortunate accident her father prayed a simple prayer that would then change the course of the family’s history. Today Rhonda is a multi IBMA award-winning, Grammy artist, Grand Ole Opry member, and an in-demand vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for multiple projects. Her brother Darrin Vincent is one-half of the award-winning duo Daily & Vincent. As you listen to the twists and curves of Rhonda’s life in conversation, prayer didn’t make her success any easier. After all, hindsight is 20/20.
In this episode, Rhonda walks us through a timeline of The Sally Mountain Show to her early recordings, her time as a Gem for Jim Ed Brown (“Pop A Top”, “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You”) and the lessons learned from him, and even the risks taken in her career to stick with traditional bluegrass as opposed to the wave at the time. The discovery of her family band at a small resort during the rain, her doppelganger replacement in her family band by Allison Krauss, and more pivotal and humorous moments alike in the life of Rhonda Vincent. The timing of these moments seems so perfect in the course of the conversation, but she confirms that it was the dedication to her craft that has dictated a momentous life. Instead of having proverbial luck on her side and not folding under the pressures of the identity of a genre. It’s solely been about music. That’s probably why her reign will continue and the immortalization of her recent induction into The Grand Ole Opry confirms that generations of bluegrass lovers will know her highness. Long live the queen.
You can visit www.rhondavincent.com for tour dates, and you can also pre-order ‘Music Is What I See’ that will be released on May 28th. Subscribe to Surviving the Music Industry with Brandon Harrington in your favorite podcast app and follow the show and host on social media here.