RHONDA VINCENT 'Yesterday & Today'
Issued on Rhonda’s own label, this is a nice 21 song retrospective that includes her very first recorded work (at the tender age of 5) as well as various other examples of her singing & playing right up through the present. Most of the cuts through 1985 were done with her family band (the SALLY MOUNTAIN SHOW), starting with her vocal on HOW FAR IS HEAVEN, recorded with her mother when Rhonda was just 5 (in a nice touch, she ends this album with a similar 1998 version of the same song, joined by her own 9 and 11-year old daughters). The 1970s cuts—showpieces like MULESKINNER BLUES, ROCKY TOP, JOSHUA and SATISFIED— already show a talented and self-assured singer/musician, but it is in the early 80s’ cuts that her vocal style really develops. The 10 tracks cut between 1980 and 1985 show a mature, powerful singer, working mostly in a Bluegrass setting. The album closes with 5 good tracks cut in 1997 & 1998 (There is nothing included here from the 1985-1996 period, when she recorded 4 excellent albums for Rebel and two country records for the Giant label). Rhonda is one of the few singers who is equally at home in both Bluegrass and Country settings, and with her recent signing with the Rounder label we’ll certainly be hearing a lot more of her. A nice job by this young "veteran" who has a lot to be proud of. I NEED JESUS, I SANG DIXIE,, LEONA’S SONG, LAVENDER LULLABY, WHERE WE’LL NEVER SAY FAREWELL, ROSES IN THE SNOW etc.