For bluegrass fans the place to be Aug. 28-31 is Thomas Point Beach where they’ll host a “Bluegrass Special” with a plethora of talent including Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Gibson Brothers, The Del McCoury Band and Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. In a recent telephone interview Vincent chatted about her love of our state, her new album and her views of the bluegrass genre.

Q: Well, you’re coming back up to Maine.

Vincent: I know, we’re very excited!

Q: Have you ever done the Thomas Point Beach festival before?

Vincent: For many years, even with my family before in the 90s and probably even in the 80s. I don’t know the first time we were there, though. In fact, my brother got married in Maine to a girl he met at the Thomas Point Beach festival.

Q: I think the last time you and I chatted you were coming to Blistered Fingers in Litchfield.

Vincent: Ooh, yup — and we’ve played many times there, too!

Q: I guess you like the fans in Maine?

Vincent: We do, we just don’t get to see them as often as we like. It’s a long journey from Missouri up to Maine but we love every time we get a chance to be there … we have many, many friends there.

Q: Now your latest album, “Only Me,” is a nice blend of bluegrass and mainstream country music.

Vincent: Well, thank you very much … it was a unique project and exciting to do something like that. Oh and it came out on Jan. 28.

Q: It’s probably too soon to be working on something new?

Vincent: Yeah, we’ve been touring so much promoting that CD that we haven’t really thought about the next one.

Q: Now, to what do you attribute bluegrass’s popularity?

Vincent: Well, to me there is an authenticity that you do now find in any other kind of music. Today you can create so many things with technology, but when you listen to bluegrass and when you come out to a festival or show you are going to hear exactly what was presented on that CD. You won’t find that someone’s lip-syncing or that there are machines actually making the sound. Now we are very blessed with a large demographic — we have every one from the very young to grandparents — and that’s a great thing about bluegrass, too, it’s a family music.

Q: And it seems bluegrass’s popularity is growing.

Vincent: It really is — and you know I attribute that to the internet because now you can go on there and find anything that you want. For the artist you can expose your music there, it’s no longer dictated by radio.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article that might be considering going to the Bluegrass Special at Thomas Point Beach next weekend?

Vincent: Well, today with the internet — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — it’s an extension of an experience beyond just coming to the show. Like our Facebook page, it’s Rhonda Vincent Official, people can like it and stay in touch with us, they even can request songs when they know we’re coming to do a show in their area. And we also sign after each and every show — which people find very unique because most (artists) are not signing after their shows — so we get to meet you after our show. This is something that people need to know: this is not just coming to a concert it’s an experience and one that we hope extends well beyond after the show is over.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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