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Bluegrass Star Brings Pickin' To OCC

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There are Deadheads and Parrotheads. And bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent has the Ragers.

Named after her band, the Rage, Vincent’s Ragers have become as highly active a community as any of their counterparts. And Vincent is the fully supportive, if somewhat surprised, object of their attention.

“I hadn’t thought about anything like that happening,” Vincent, 45, says of the fan community. “We play a lot of places, and it becomes like a reunion. I see a lot of familiar faces. We have a guy in San Diego who’s been to over 150 shows.

“We have a very active (Web) site and message board. These people get up every day and talk to each other. They care about each other, which is a wonderful thing. Even my husband, who couldn’t turn on a computer three years ago, he’s posting on my message board and checks up on it every morning.”

Vincent and her husband, Herb Sandker, are preparing to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. The couple owns a restaurant called Bogies in their native Kirksville, Mo., and Vincent says that their marriage was one of the inspirations for her latest album, “Good Thing Going,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart earlier this year.

“I always tell people that I don’t see my husband every day, so we get along good,” Vincent says with a laugh. It was Sandker, however, that gave her career a boost when he hired her to play fiddle in the house band at an “Urban Cowboy”style nightclub he managed in the early ’80s and who now “allows me to follow my dream.”

“I don’t have to worry about my husband, or my marriage,” says Vincent, who has two college-aged daughters with Sandker, one of whom is dating the fiddle player in the Rage. “When you don’t have to worry, it gives you peace of mind, and you do your job to the best of your ability.”

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (May 2) at Smith Theatre on the Orchard Ridge Campus of Oakland Community College, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 341-2270 or visit www.oaklandcc.edu/entertainment.

Web Site: www.oaklandcc.edu/entertainment

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