Rhonda Vincent’s brand of bluegrass has always been laced with a traditional country element. She acknowledges both strains on Only Me, an album united by her honeyed yet gutsy vocal style and sterling mandolin playing. Only Me’s tracks are divided between bluegrass and honky tonk–style country sections in the manner of a two-sided vinyl LP. The distinctions get pleasantly blurred, however, as Vincent applies a ‘grassy touch to hard country numbers like “I’d Rather Hear I Don’t Love You (Than Nothing at All)” and tackles Nashville classics like “Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin” with a zesty acoustic bounce. The performances here display both high spirits and technical polish, with guitarist Brent Burke, fiddler Tim Crouch, and pedal steel guitarist Mike Johnson handling their duties with particular verve. Rhonda shares the vocal mic with Willie Nelson on the romantically hopeful title track and duets with Daryle Singletary on the plaintive “We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds.” From the galloping energy of “Busy City” to the haunting melancholy of “When the Green Grass Grows Over Me,” Vincent makes this genre-leaping work sound like a true labor of love.
I'd Rather Hear I Don't Love You (Than Nothing At All)
Only Me (feat. Willie Nelson)
I Need Somebody Bad Tonight
We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds (feat. Daryle Singletary)