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Kimmie Rhodes

Rich From the Journey – 2000 (Songbird)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Kimmie Rhodes

Kimmie Rhodes latest release bounces around stylistically between country, folk and pop, but the brilliant musicianship, intelligent lyrics and particularly Rhodes' magnificent vocals hold this together.

"Big 'Ol Train," in which the singer looks fondly upon the world from a passing train, and "Espiritu Santo Bay," a ballad which recalls Emmylou Harris' 70's work, are the most country influenced tracks. "I'm So Amazed," co-written with son Gabe Rhodes (who also produced), is an inspirational ballad that might have been a hit a few years back before country radio enbraced the worst of pop and moved away from thoughtful music. Rhodes' versatility is showcased throughout. "Yellow Sand" and the title track have much in common with the work of such artists as Suzanne Vega or Tori Amos, while "Thank You For Another Day" is reminiscent of Nanci Griffith. The closing track "Bells of Joy" is an uptempo bluesy gospel tune.

The band is led by son Gabe, who plays lead guitar, bass and keyboards. Other notable guests are Jimmy Day on steel guitar and Gillian Welch, who duets on "God's Acre."