Personnel: Darrin Vincent (vocals); Larry Byrom, Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason , Brent Rowan (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar, dobro); Stuart Duncan (mandolin, fiddle); Glen Duncan , Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Matt Rollings, Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano); Eddie Bayers, Paul Leim (drums); Richard Landis (tambourine); Curtis Young, Norah Lee Allen, Michael Black, Jon Mohr, Dennis Wilson , Carolee Cooper (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Csaba Petocz; John Guess.
Recording information: LOUD Recording.
Photographer: Mark Tucker .
Rhonda Vincent is a bluegrass prodigy who has been a favorite on the string band festival circuit for years. Her 1994 album for Giant Records found her being pushed a little too forcibly toward the country mainstream; still, on occasion, the specialness of her hard-country twang shined through. With Trouble Free, she fulfills her promise with soaring beauty. Co-producer (and Giant Records chief) James Stroud backs off and allows Vincent to explore a traditional country terrain that encompasses the fierce, severe magnificence of bluegrass and the sorrowful whine of honky tonk heartbreak. Vincent excels at both, showing the same kind of hard, soulful splendor that Keith Whitley displayed when he evolved from bluegrass to traditional country. Vincent's guests pretty much define her tastes: She performs a duet with Randy Travis -- in his best performance in years -- and, elsewhere, enjoys harmony support from Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton. Vincent and Krauss have been linked for years (Vincent was one a runner-up in a bluegrass contest that Krauss won). Krauss' commercial success certainly helped renew Giant's belief that Vincent, too, could attract a larger mainstream audience. But the two aren't that similar as vocalists. Where Krauss' voice is sweet and pure, Vincent's is twangy and aggressive. What they share is a commitment to musical integrity. ~ Michael McCall
Entertainment Weekly (2/9/96, p.55) - "...Vincent evokes the past while still sounding fresh. In terms of soul and taste, she has it over 95% of her fellow newcomers." - Rating: B+