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Keeping bluegrass alive

Good Thing Going
Good Thing Going
By Rhonda Vincent

Rounder Records: 2008

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This review first appeared in Turbula in February 2008.

Outside fellow Rounder Records stablemate Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent is probably the most visible bluegrass presence on the national stage. With a huskyk, low-end singing voice to counter Krauss' soprano purity, and as gifted on mandolin as Krauss is on fiddle, Vincent provides a nice complement to Krauss in carrying the female bluegrass singing tradition forward.

Her new album continues her string of outstanding recordings, and takes in a nice, broad swath of country history, from honky tonk to the Patsy Cline school of trad pop country to, of course, bluegrass.

And as if to underscore her growing stature as one of bluegrass' top stars, there's a vocal duet with country superstar Keith Urban on traditional chestnut "The Water Is Wide." But as big a draw as Urban is, that song is far from the album's highlight – the uptempo bluegrass breakdowns like the closing track 'Bluegrass Saturday Night" or the opener, "I'm Leavin' " are what give this superb album its sense of spirit and joy.