Rhonda Vincent Serves Up a Lyrical Tongue Twister With ‘I Ain’t Been Nowhere’ [LISTEN]
Rhonda Vincent has a confession to make.
“I had been using a teleprompter whenever I sang that song,” the brand-new Grand Ole Opry member shares in a recent interview about her tongue twister of a song, “I Ain’t Been Nowhere.”
“I probably shouldn’t tell people that, but it’s the truth," she adds. "That one just has so many words.”
Exactly 392 words, to be precise. And fitting all of those words into a less-than-three-minute song could certainly end up being a challenge for anyone. But leave it to the Queen of Bluegrass to find a way to pull it off.
“I’ve performed "I Ain’t Been Nowhere" a few times now where no teleprompter was needed, because I have finally memorized it all,” Vincent says with a laugh. She worked on memorizing the wordy song via a series of Facebook Lives with her fans.
“The song has seven sections, so I just took it section by section," Vincent explains. "I was committed to singing this song until I learned it. Every time I would mess up, I would stop and try it again until I could figure it out, and eventually, I had it down.”
The parody song is a lyrical look at the pandemic-riddled year of 2020, bursting with specifics and anecdotes that will cement the song as a snapshot of this crazy time for years and years to come. Of course, the Grammy Award winner can’t take all the credit for the song: First off, it follows the melodies of the 1950s classic “I’ve Been Everywhere.” But what got Vincent’s attention was the take-off written by Chuck Mead, in which he detailed the particulars of the pandemic.
“I changed some of his words … Let’s just say he did the adult version, and I did the family version,” says Vincent -- who began her professional music career at the age of five, singing with her family’s band -- with a laugh. “I saw it online last year and I instantly thought to myself that we had to do a bluegrass version of it. I just had to record it.”
Set to be included on her upcoming country album Music Is What I See, Vincent also admits that “I Ain’t Been Nowhere” served as a contender for the title of the entire album. But after much consideration, she thought better of it.
“I didn’t want this song to overtake the whole album,” she explains. “I didn’t want that to end up being what this album is about. It’s basically a sideline to our journey and what we all have been through.”
In fact, as Vincent stood on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry during a recent performance, the song already seemed to have a nostalgic sound to it.
“This is the kind of song that lightens the air, especially at places like the Grand Ole Opry where they were still having a limited attendance and for many of the audience, it might have been their first time out of the house, so it was kind of tense anyway,” Vincent remembers. “All I had to do was sing this song and everyone took a bit of a sigh of relief. It’s like, ‘That’s where we were, but we aren’t there anymore.'”
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