Reso-guitarist Brent Burke has announced his upcoming departure from Rhonda Vincent and The Rage as of December 17, which marks the 8 year anniversary of his enlistment with the band.
Reflecting on his tenure as a member of The Rage and his upcoming departure, Brent had this to say:
“The last eight years of my life have been filled with thousands of new faces and hundreds of new places. I am greatly appreciative to Rhonda Vincent for the opportunity to be a part of Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. Starting in her band at the age of 23, immediately following college graduation from East Tennessee State University, set me on a life adventure that I will never forget.
Rhonda, my bandmates and many people along the way have helped me grow and positively influenced my life. I still love performing and playing music, but I have felt a tugging at my heart to make a career change. I am excited about the future and will continue to play and perform music, for it is something I have done since I was five years old – a gift from God that my grandparents John and Doris O’Rear, helped cultivate in me.
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage are blessed to have a lucrative touring schedule year after year, and I am stepping away to allow for more time with loved ones. I will be pursuing new endeavors to continue growing spiritually, intellectually and professionally. As I do, I believe it is important to mention the things that made my time with the Rage successful and enjoyable. First, God. Without him I would be lost and afraid. Afraid of change and afraid to trust the path we walk in faith that is not fully revealed as we take those steps. Second, would be my wife, Tensel Burke. She has been the rock by my side since we were married on April 14, 2013. It takes a solid foundation and a strong spouse to support you in anything pursued in life. She has always been there for me in every way possible, whether I’m at home with her or three-thousand miles away. I am thankful and grateful for each and every day and look forward to the future.
Thank you Rhonda, The Rage, fans, friends and family for the wonderful memories and music made over the last 8 years.”
Of the contribution and talents of her fellow band mate and son-in-law, Rhonda added:
“Brent Burke is one of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever worked with. We will miss him very much, but wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Brent is the first recipient of the bachelor of arts degree in Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music at ETSU and a former member of Next Best Thing, a band which was comprised of Rhonda’s daughters Sally and Tensel.
At the time of publication, Brent’s replacement has not been named, but rest assured, they will have big shoes to fill, and with more than 200 dates already on the books, a dizzying 2020 touring season to prepare for.