Singer and mandolinist Rhonda Vincent, 38, has been playing bluegrass music since she was six, starting in her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show, in Kirksville, Missouri. In the mid-80s she was hired by aging Nashville mainstay Jim Ed Brown (of “Pop a Top” fame) and after six months with him she embarked on a solo career, signing with the bluegrass indie Rebel Records. In the mid-90s, she gave commercial country a shot, making a couple of decent but unremarkable mainstream albums for Giant’s Nashville division. Last year she returned to her bluegrass roots with the aptly titled Back Home Again (Rounder), but she’s still a little bit country: she nails the Louvin Brothers gem “Out of Hand” as well as Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” singing with a sweet, soulful elasticity. Although her longtime band is called the Rage, the performances are short on flash–there’s not a true barn burner on the album. Most of the songs are ballads and midtempo numbers that emphasize Vincent’s leads and wonderful harmonies with her bass-playing brother, Darrin, and a drum-tight ensemble sound. She shares this bill with James King, another excellent contemporary bluegrass singer. Saturday, March 10, 7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln; 773-728-6000.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Senor McGuire.