all (kimmie) rhodes lead to limavady
Our Arts Correspondent Emmet McGonagle not only reviews Kimmie Rhodes’ concert on 16 october, but the lucky guy also had a chance to meet the acclaimed musician backstage! Here’s what he had to say…
The Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre welcomed world-renowned country singer Kimmie Rhodes to the stage as she made a stop in Limavady as part of her mini-tour in promotion for her sixteenth album ‘Covers’. Although this was Kimmie’s first experience in the Arts and Cultural centre, and indeed the Limavady area, she had nothing but kind words to say on its behalf. “I love Ireland and I have fans here, and it seemed as good a place as any to start the promotion for the record. This is my first time in Limavady, but it’s a lovely place, I love the area and this is a beautiful little theatre.”
Kimmie was met by a full-house of eager fans, some of which had seen the musician more than once. The legendary country singer was accompanied by her son Gabriel who played guitar along with his mother and produced the most recent album. Kimmie also shared the stage with Ruth Trimble, a multi-talented musician and singer from Belfast. Ruth also had the opportunity to sing a few songs from her debut album within the set, showcasing both her musical power and emotive vocals and lyricism.
The set list was comprised of a combination of Kimmie’s favourite covers from the new album, as well as half of her original material for which her name is known all around the globe. Songs such as ‘A little help from my friends’, and her hit with Willie Nelson ‘Love me like a song’ were sang as duets with her son Gabriel.
Before the show, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview the country star. With hundreds of songs to her name, as well as three musical plays, Kimmie told me that her album is a change of pace from her previous work. “For about twenty-five years I’ve been writing my own songs and songs for other people. When I first started to play music I got a guitar and I started writing poetry, and I actually learned to play some of the songs that are on this record and so it sort of surprised me because I just wanted to have some fun. I’d been going through a rough patch for the last few years because my husband was dying of cancer and I just sort of turned outward after that. I wanted to live again and have fun and be free of the oppression of the hard times that I had been under.”
She went on to explain: “I was hanging out with a friend of mine in his back yard in Tennessee and we were talking about how we wanted to have fun. He said he was looking for an excuse to come down to Austin so we just decided to throw a party and cut cover songs, and it was a lot of fun because it was something that I just had not done for a long time is interpret other people’s songs. It came together in a lot of ways and it turned out to be a really good thing for me because I didn’t have to turn inward and write all these songs and start exploring all these feelings as a writer, but it was just nice to have a break to just have fun. I cut a lot of songs which were meaningful to me which is fun to me because when a singer goes to look for songs they look for songs that they have a heart for, which is something that I haven’t had to do for a long time.”
The album contains a various range of different tracks from various genres, and covers material from some of music’s greatest such as U2, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles. The intention of the album was to cover material that was influential within milestones of her life. The crowd were provided with an insight into why the songs played were significant through an array of anecdotal tales, including her experience of listening to the Beatles for the first time. Her ability to tell a story between the intervals of songs captivated and engaged her audience. Of all the songs recorded for this album, Kimmie explained that the song she found to be most important to her was one written by the hand of a friend. “I think that the most significant song is a song called ‘Adam’s song’ which was written by a really great American songwriter named Andy Crowell, who is a friend of mine. It’s a song which I truly feel like if I decided to sit down and write the definitive song about what it was like to say goodbye to my husband who was my bass player, producer and muse for all these years. I don’t believe that I could have gotten into my heart any more than that song did. It’s a beautiful, well-written song that musically and lyrically says exactly what I wanted to say. I had the perfect song without having to go through the pain of writing it.”
An important aspect of ‘Covers’ is that many of Kimmie’s close friends such as Marcia Ball were featured in the songs themselves. “Working with close friends like Rodney Crowell was like a party. I think that recording is the most fun part of the process because it is fun to watch your songs unfold. It’s fun to play music together, it’s magical to record together, and I think I made it a fun experience for everybody. I think that the spirit of the recording and how everybody feels and what is going on comes across in the music, so I always try to record in a fun environment so everybody has a good time.”
Kimmie Rhodes said farewell to a wave of fans passionately applauding her performance after twenty songs and an encore. Her ability to engage the crowd in friendly banter and involve her fans in her music by singing along made the night feel warm and personal. The profound modesty in spite of her undeniable success, as well as her undeniable appreciation of her fans, epitomise Kimmie Rhodes (in the words of Rodney Crowell) as having “the soul of a poet and the voice of an angel”.This entry was posted on October 21st, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Desima