With their touring season just concluded, Rhonda Vincent has announced a change in her band, The Rage.
Ben Helson, who has been holding down the guitar spot this past four years, is leaving, with 3-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Josh Williams set to step in. Williams had spent 4 years with Vincent previously (2004 – 2007), and appeared on her 2005 live CD and DVD, Ragin’ Live.
Rhonda expressed some mixed feelings about the swap, but was resolute in her decision.
“We love Ben… we love him so much. This was just a change we had to make.
This is a bittersweet time, as I am thrilled at the return of Josh Williams to The Rage. Josh is one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever heard. We are excited to begin a new chapter of The Rage, and mark a historical reunion.”
Ben had worked for several years with Ricky Skaggs before joining the Rage, and serves as Bluegrass Director of the Bethel University Renaissance program in McKenzie, TN.
The Rage’s season is essentially over for 2012, but Josh will make his reunion debut with Rhonda on December 4 at a filming for RFD TV’s Larry’s Country Diner. A broadcast date will be announced soon.
For Josh’s part, the move from bandleader to sideman is all good.
“I’m excited about being back, and looking forward to setting the bluegrass world on its ear with The Rage.
I was proud to do a band on my own this past four years. But it’s a lot of work to do your own thing, something I didn’t recognize when I started the band.
Life’s good these days, and this situation takes a lot of pressure off of me, and gives me an opportunity to earn a good living.”
Williams joins Hunter Berry on fiddle, Aaron McDaris on banjo, Brent Burke on resonator guitar, and Mickey Harris on bass. Vincent fronts the group on mandolin and lead vocals.
Rhonda & the Rage start back up in 2013 with a brief tour on the west coast. Details on their schedule can be found on her web site.