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Rhonda Vincent keeps good thing going

By Jeffrey B. Remz, January 2008

Page 2...

Vincent worked on the song and brought it home to her family, telling them, "Let's make this a family project. I'm going to leave it in the living room."

That meant it was up for grabs for other family members to work on the song. Husband Herb and Tensel contributed.

With a little help from her family, Vincent pulled the song together.

"Just walking back of the bus and thinking about it for a minute, writing and getting singing, I start having a melody," says Vincent, recalling her thoughts of needing to get a guitar to write some more.

But Vincent also was cognizant that she did want Mottesheard to feel obligated.

"I kind of said, 'I think I might have a song. The next time you and Richard (Mottesheard's then fiancˇ) are going to be together, I need to audition a song for you."

Mottesheard says she "knew nothing about it. After she'd written it, she had told me she had a song she wanted me to listen to for the wedding, but she didn't tell me who wrote it."

"I kind of thought she might have. She brought us on the bus and played it with guitar, but I didn't know. It could have been somebody else who wrote it."

"It was awesome. It brought tears to your eyes the first you heard it."

Vincent says, "They loved it, and it all worked out. When you write a song, (the reaction) is the most vulnerable thing."

But that wasn't end of the story because Vincent next had to sing the composition at the wedding on June 28, 2007 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

"I tell you I was shaking," says Vincent. "It's on YouTube. I just sang with a guitar. I was absolutely shaking. This is a very private setting. I didn't want to perform. I wanted that to be the very first time I performed it anywhere. Would I forget the words? Recording, performing - all of that is stressful. This is a one-time deal. You can't go back on somebody's wedding."

"She's a very special gal, friend. I did it for her. Don't ask me to do it again."

Mottesheard was not expecting anything more for the song. "That was a big shock too. I had no idea it was going to end up on the album. And then it was a duet with Russell Moore. That made it even more special."

Vincent says there is no set practice for writing songs.

"There is no formulation most of the time," says Vincent. "Hunter (Berry, Vincent's fiddle man) said I'm the most unorganized organized person that he knows. I'm organized in my own way, but if you look at my mode of operation, if you look in my travel bag that I have now, I have six baggies from the behind the airplane seat pocket. Those are scrawled on all over the place (with song lyrics). They are organized to me, but they are not organized to anybody else. I have my own style going there."

"I have to be inspired by something," Vincent says about writing songs. "When I sat down to write with writers like Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, that's just not my forte. I'm more of (the type to write on) an airplane. I need to private time to get my thoughts together. If I have someone watching me, I just can't work like that."

Vincent does a few covers on "Good Thing Going," including Jimmy Martin's "Hit Parade of Love." "I've been singing that for many years," says Vincent.

"I really needed a barnburner," she says of the CD. "Something that was uptempo. I'm doing it much faster than Jimmy Martin ever did it. The guys in the band said I did it too fast. I wanted either an opening song or a closing song (in concert) - those are difficult to find."

One constant with Vincent is a very strong backing band, The Rage. Guitarist Darrell Webb, who joined the band in November, mandolinist Kenny Ingram, bassist Mickey Harris and Berry comprise the group, which is very spirited in concert. Save Webb, they have been part of Vincent's live performances and recordings for about six years.

"We are an extended family for each other," says Vincent.

Vincent's first foray into music came with her real family. She was a member of her family act, The Sally Mountain Show, started by her parents Johnny and Carolyn Vincent, as a very young child.

At age five, Vincent made her debut, singing and tapping on a snare drum for the band's radio show on KIRX of Greentop, Mo., the town where Vincent grew up.

For the next 18 years, Vincent was in the family business, singing and playing mandolin and fiddle.

At 23, she toured for 6 months as a backup singer for Jim Ed Brown after appearing on TNN's "You Can Be a Star" show.

Vincent eventually forged her own solo career, recording three albums with Rebel Records. She also tried her hand at country music, recording two discs for Giant Records, a now defunct Nashville label that had artists like Neal McCoy and Clay Walker. Music producer James Stroud signed her to the label as the first artist.

Vincent's country career never really took off as several singles failed to gain any traction on the charts.

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