RHONDA VINCENT & THE RAGE
Upper Mgmt. Music
The liner notes contain all one needs to know about this fine project. The CD was made from a live recording on July 14, 2016 during an edition of “Bluegrass Nights” at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Rhonda & The Rage render the first four songs, including the bluegrass standard “Hit Parade Of Love” and Hank Williams’ “How Can You Refuse Him Now.” Track five features the first (and youngest) of the legends on the bill—a surprise appearance by Sonny Osborne. He sings “Mama Tried” with Rhonda and noted that he started on that stage as a kid with Bill Monroe, and this would be his last performance as well. His brother Bobby joins in on the next track, “Midnight Angel,” marking a reunion of the brothers since Sonny’s retirement some ten years ago.
We’re also treated to hearing more Osborne Brothers material with “My Favorite Memory,” “Beneath Still Waters,” and “Windy City,” before the legendary Jesse McReynolds picks “Deep Elem Blues.” Bobby Osborne appears again on “Mom And Dad’s Waltz,” “Pain In My Heart” and, of course, “Rocky Top.” Mac Wiseman sounds off next with “Wabash Cannonball,” “Homestead On The Farm,” and “Jimmie Brown The Newsboy” before Bobby, Jesse, and Mac join in on “Bluebirds Are Singing for Me.” Mac then takes us out vocally with “’Tis Sweet To Be Remembered” before the recording ends with “Oswald’s Dobro Chimes.”
This recording is an addition to the several recent tribute-type releases (Charlie Poole, Kentucky Colonels, Flatt & Scruggs, for example), but stands apart in that these legendary performers are still with us—thankfully. Capturing them still performing in good stride was a smart move and documents a few of our living treasures in a well-deserved manner. Listeners will hear the applause, but any introductions and dialogue have been deleted. The sound quality is excellent, but some remarks would have added to the feel of being there to hear our heroes. One wonders what the Osbornes had to say during this historic event, but only those fortunate enough to be in attendance know. Eddie Stubbs served as emcee, but we don’t hear him either. Still an excellent volume for your consideration and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage are at top form, as usual. (www.rhondavincent.com)BW