Vincent is enjoying her life in bluegrass music

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By Stephen Lega

Bluegrass musician Rhonda Vincent is booked solid for 2009, and her fourth stop of the year will be this Saturday at Marion County High School in Lebanon.

Vincent and her band, The Rage, are the featured performers during the 2009 Kentucky Bluegrass Music Kickoff. They already have 100 dates booked this year.

And they love being on the road, according to Vincent.

“We feel like we get to live our dream every day,” Vincent said during a phone interview Friday.

Vincent grew up in a musical family in Kirksville, Mo., performing in The Sally Mountain Show with her friends and relatives. 

Her first instrument was a snare drum her father gave her to play when she was 5 years old.

“I’ve just enjoyed this wonderful life of music,” Vincent said.

Today, she plays multiple instruments, including guitar, fiddle and mandolin. The ability to play multiple instruments is a trait she shares in common with her bandmates, and it’s something they incorporate into their performances.

“We trade around during our shows,” Vincent said. “Everybody plays everything.”

She has recorded 14 albums to date, according to CMT.

Her early recordings may not have been as successful commercially as she would have liked, but she learned from the experience of making those records.

“I look at those as my musical college years,” Vincent said.

In 1997, she formed her first band. Since then, she has been recognized for her talent nationally and internationally.

The International Bluegrass Music Association named her the female vocalist of the year seven times, and the Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America has named her entertainer of the year five times.

Vincent and The Rage will be easy to recognize when they pull into town. Vincent is sponsored by Martha White Muffin Mix, which is prominently displayed on her bus.

For Vincent and her bandmates, getting out and performing is what they enjoy.

“It’s something that we would be doing no matter what,” she said. “Bluegrass is like that.”