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Vincent Puts All-American Spin on Her Bluegrass

Of the Oakland Press

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For her 11th album, Rhonda Vincent decided to heed the advice of fellow songwriter Terry Herd. “Terry told me, ‘You need to have a theme for your albums; don’t just throw songs on there,’ ” Vincent recalls. “So this is the fi rst album I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna have a theme ...’ ”

And that wound up being “All American Bluegrass Girl,” which Vincent says set a tone for her and her brother and co-producer Darrin Vincent to approach the set.

“Each album takes on its own personality with the songs that we find,” explains Vincent, 44, who wrote three of the album’s 12 songs. “I saw all-American something, then it popped into my mind — ‘All American Bluegrass Girl.’ I went right then and there and bought allamericanbluegrassgirl.com and then started fi nding songs from other writers.”

But even though bluegrass is part of the title, it’s only part of what Vincent offers. The album also includes more straightforward country songs as well as gospel, and Vincent — who recently recorded a Christmas album that will be released this fall — says the mix “seems to give us broader appeal.”

“Bluegrass was a dirty word and still is in a lot of places,” says Vincent, who has two teenage daughters. “That’s why I quit categorizing. Whatever you want to call it is fi ne.

“And I get couples who come up to me at shows and say, ‘You’ve solved the music problem in our house. I like bluegrass; she likes country or rock. But we both like you.’ I see grandparents bringing their grandkids now, so it’s cool. We’re reaching a lot of people, and a lot of different kinds of people.”

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and Pinecross perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (July 15tth) at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $27.50, $22.50 and $15 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

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