Just like Destination Life, Taken was recorded with and produced by Rhonda and her touring band The Rage. Gifted with one of the best voices in all of bluegrass and country music, Rhonda start’s off Taken with “The Court of Love,” a sweet sounding rumination on love full of high lonesome vocal heartbreak and fantastic, spirited pickin’. Always unafraid to stretch the traditional boundaries of Bluegrass, Rhonda has 90s pop star Richard Marx (now a Nashville-based songwriter/producer) guest on the title track “Taken.” The interesting thing about Marx’s guest appearance on the song is how well he blends vocally with Rhonda. It’s a soft, romantic ballad about how much a woman is in love with the man of her dreams. The song may be more of a traditional country ballad than a bluegrass number but the fiddle from senior band member Hunter Berry is fantastic.
The incomparable Dolly Parton guests on “In The Garden By The Fountain,” one of two songs written by Roger Brown on this album. The other fantastic Roger Brown cut on the album is “When the Bloom Is Off The Rose,” a traiditional country song that wonders if love will last when the romance hits an inevitable cold patch. Next Big Thing’s Sally Berry and Tensel Sandker guest on the song and provide some fantastic family harmony as the daughters of Rhonda Vincent. “Ragin’ Live Tonight” is a song written by band members Mickey Harris, Ben Helson and Aaron McDaris. It shows off the band’s traditional bluegrass roots and also proclaims that the band may spread their wings a bit on recordings but that doesn’t mean they have any intentions of leaving Bluegrass behind.
“A Little At A Time” comes off more as an acoustic country song and this is probably due to the fact that country songwriters Amy Dalley, Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro are the writers of the song. While it’s a traditional-leaning ballad, it does fit well within bluegrass lyrically as it’s a song about a woman who realizes her time with her man is not long for the world. A bluegrass album wouldn’t be complete without a spiritual and “God is Watching” is that tune while Issac Moore and Hannah Harper and a children’s choir guest on “You Must have A Dream,” a piece of motherly advice that evolves into a children’s spiritual. While not the ‘best’ way to end the album, it is a sweet tune that ends another fulfilling album from the “new Queen of Bluegrass.”
To read more about this project, check out this feature article.
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If you prefer your music to be more than ones and zeroes you can purchase the CD at Amazon.