Album Info

April 29, 2003
Country, Bluegrass, Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass

Album Review

Rhonda Vincent has so adeptly incorporated the sparkling production of the best contemporary bluegrass recordings with the heartfelt songwriting and passionate playing of the classic era of traditional bluegrass that her third album for Rounder hits that almost perfect balance: updated enough to not sound stuffy, but faithful enough to still sound honest. The leadoff track, "Kentucky Borderline," is an ol' fashioned train song along the lines of "Orange Blossom Special" or "Wabash Cannonball," and the title track (a duet with guest vocalist Alison Krauss) takes reverent cues from the Del McCoury Band in its tight harmonies and laid-back, bluesy solos. In context, the divorce-through-the-eyes-of-a-child song "Caught in the Crossfire" is only slightly maudlin, and the blistering trucker tribute "Ridin' the Red Line" is sung with such amphetamine-fueled conviction that very few female country singers could pull it off convincingly, but Vincent has the range (and the Rage) to perform both the dewy-eyed "Crossfire" and the fiery "Red Line" back to back. The group's warm, a cappella rendition of "Fishers of Men" is reminiscent of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's best gospel work, and their 20-second rip through the Martha White Flour song is a sly nod to Flatt & Scruggs and any other picker who has exchanged their music for a quick sponsorship to all of the "Health and Happiness" tonics throughout the years. Highlighted throughout by breakup waltzes, makeup stompers, '40s train songs, '70s trucker songs, and up-to-the-minute acoustic folk numbers, One Step Ahead is all over the place thematically, but right on the money stylistically.
Zac Johnson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Kentucky Borderline
  2. You Can't Take It With You When You Go
  3. One Step Ahead of the Blues
  4. Caught in the Crossfire
  5. Ridin' the Red Line
  6. Pathway of Teardrops
  7. An Old Memory (Found It's Way Back Home Again)
  8. Missouri Moon
  9. Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill
  10. Fishers of Men
  11. Frankie Belle
  12. The Martha White Song
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